The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has appealed to the Federal Government to address fundamental causes of rising inflation rates.
The President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, made the appeal in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He urged the federal government to create a more positive business climate in the country.
Abubakar expressed concern that in spite government efforts, the inflation rate was on the increase.
According to NBS, in Feb. the headline inflation rate rose to 21.91 per cent compared to Jan. 2023 headline inflation rate which was 21.82 per cent.
It showed an increase of 0.09 per cent points when compared to Jan. headline inflation rate.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the administration to tame the increasing inflation rate, we note that the situation was far from improving.
“This has complicated the business climate and deepened challenges facing small scale businesses.
“The increase can be attributed mainly to the fuel scarcity being experienced in the country, where many resolve to buy at black market rate,“he said.
He said that the price per litre of petrol goes for between N400 and N700 depending on where you are buying from.
“This occurrence tends to have negative effect on businesses as fuel and diesel are the major source of energy for running businesses.
“This invariably leads to the spike in the cost of production coupled with logistic issues that has been compounded by insecurity,’’ Abubakar said.
“The government should implement business-friendly policies unlike the cash swap policy that negatively affected businesses, especially the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs,“he said.
Abubakar urged the Federal government to intensify the rehabilitation of refineries in the country and concession them out to private entities.
“The Executive and legislative arm of government should speed up the passage of the bill to unbundle the transmission aspect of electricity in Nigeria to serve Nigerian efficiently.
“Again, tax harmonisation will improve the ease of doing business, make the market competitive and reduce business mortality.
“Government should begin to make use of satellite for surveillance by equipping the space agency to improve in addition to the equipping and retooling of our armed security force.
“The effect of high inflation will reduce the purchasing power of the masses making basic necessities unaffordable for the ordinary man.
“It will further worsen the unemployment rate in the country and make it harder for start-up business.
“On the international scene it will make the Naira less competitive against other national currencies,’’ Abubakar said.