The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has charged Nigerian experts, particularly investment and economic analysts, to come up with the best options for Nigeria to get through the current Coronavirus (COVID-19)-triggered whirlwinds and sustain its recent GDP growth trajectory in the face of mounting odds.
The President of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) group, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, gave this charge in her remarks at a forum organised on the implications of COVID-19 outbreak on the Nigerian economy yesterday in Lagos.
While commending the Federal and Lagos State governments on the measures taken so far to contain the spread of the pandemic, the industrialist noted that the need for all stakeholders to provide answers to major problems created by the scourge had become imperative if the nation’s economy was to be prevented from recession.
Citing the havoc the virus has been causing globally to raise the chamber’s concern over its implications for the economy, Mabogunje pointed out that if the impact of the pandemic on the global economic order so far was used to analyse the growth prospects in many economies, the outlook remained bleak.
She further said with crude oil trading below “our budget benchmark of $57 a barrel in the international market for the past seven weeks, the questions that should pre-occupy the minds of participants during the discussions at the forum for answers include whether Nigeria is at the risk of another recession or if the continued depletion of external reserves will constrain the ability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sustain the Naira in the Foreign Exchange (Forex) windows.
Other posers raised by the LCCI president are whether the country is at the risk of another devaluation; what will be medium-term impact on Nigeria-China bilateral trade relations; how would the Federal Government mobilise revenue to finance capital expenditure; what is the government doing as regards revenue diversification away from oil; how do we revive investors’ confidence in the economy; and how do we make the economy less vulnerable to subsequent global shocks; amongst others.
In her concluding remarks, Mrs. Mabogunje expressed hope that the guest speakers at the forum would do justice to the concerns raised by the chamber on the implications of COVID-19 for the nation’s economy in the months ahead.
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