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CBN's double-digit growth rate projection not feasible, says LCCI

By The Citizen
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The projection of the double-digit growth for the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) made by the Central Bank of Nigeria, may be unrealisable after all, going by a situational analysis made by  Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Tuesday.

The Director-General of LCCI, Muda Yusuf, explained that the prediction was not realistic even if some reforms in the economy were successful.

According to Yusuf, there are many challenges confronting the power and oil sectors and these challenges are unlikely to be resolved this year.

'There is the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and with January out of it, that forecast is not realistic.

'I am not too optimistic that this can happen this year. We have just 11 months to go in 2013,' he said in an interview with NAN.

Yusuf said that even if the PIB was passed, the investment needed to accelerate growth was not easy to come by.

'We are talking of billions of dollar investment in the oil and gas sector and there is the problem of labour issues.

'The forecast may be possible in the near future when these issues are resolved, but not in 2013,' he said.

The Governor of CBN,  Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, made the forecast at a panel discussion on emerging markets at the just concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Sanusi said that the growth was attainable if the current reforms in the oil and gas sector and the privatisation of the power sector were allowed to scale through.

Meanwhile, The Director of Public Relations, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr Nerus Ekezie, said 65 per cent of new businesses in Nigeria go moribund within the first three years.

Ekezie said that the figure was derived from researches on life span of businesses in Nigeria.

He said that some of the researches identified the harsh business environment in the country as a major setback for their survival.

'Manufacturers are really going through hell trying to do business with the epileptic power supply situation in this country.

'The bad roads are causing many business outfits to incur more operational costs and forcing them to spend less on direct productive activities.

'Insecurity too has also affected business profit margins negatively.

'Worse still, many of our financial institutions are not coming to the aid of these new businesses,' he said.

The NASME spokesman added that extortion from miscreants and touts on the highways was also causing untimely death of many fresh entrepreneurs.

'We cannot but continue to complain about the problem of multiple taxes on small businesses.

'It is not good for survival rate of any enterprise if the local and state government have to collect the same levy from new business outfits severally.' He added.