The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concerns about the rising inflation and continuous interest rate hikes imposed by Nigeria’s monetary authority, putting a strain on private sector operators in the country.

In a statement, Dr. Chinyere Almona, the Director General of LCCI, highlighted the challenges faced by businesses as inflation rates continue to soar despite efforts by monetary and fiscal authorities.

Dr. Almona stressed the need for decisive action to stabilize prices and support the purchasing power of citizens, acknowledging the complexities involved in balancing growth with inflation control to create jobs and alleviate poverty.

The recent increase in inflation to 33.69% in April, coupled with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to raise the benchmark interest rate to 26.25%, has further exacerbated the situation.

The LCCI emphasized that these measures have not had a significant impact on stabilizing prices, leading to economic overheating, volatility, and uncertainty.

Dr. Almona warned of potential consequences such as reduced demand, weakened purchasing power, lower industrial production, and job losses if the current trend continues.

The LCCI called for targeted fiscal and monetary interventions to boost food production, lower business costs, improve infrastructure, enhance security through technology, create a conducive environment for key sectors like power and oil, and promote non-oil exports.

The Chamber recommended measures such as applying a lower import duty exchange rate, providing support for strategic industries, and planning for the implementation of a new minimum wage for public workers to mitigate inflationary pressures.

Dr. Almona urged the government to reduce governance costs, streamline functions, invest in technology, and explore non-cash interventions to stimulate the economy without increasing currency circulation.

By implementing comprehensive measures to support industrial productivity, enhance security, improve infrastructure, leverage technology, and boost non-oil exports, Nigeria can effectively combat inflation and build a stable, resilient economy.

Acting swiftly and decisively, while learning from successful examples and adapting them to the local economic context, is crucial for sustainable growth and development.

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