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The Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Chinyere Almona, has blamed the shortage of the United States dollars for the freefall of the Naira.
Almona who disclosed this at a press parley in Lagos, said a case where forex supply does not meet the demand puts pressure on the Naira, “leading to its weak position against major currencies.”
Ms Almona said, “Many businesses now source their forex needs from parallel markets at above N525/$, and we need to boost the supply side of the forex market through more inflows from exports, diaspora remittances and crude revenues.”
The national currency on Thursday dipped at the parallel market in Lagos against the U.S. dollar, exchanging at N570 to a dollar while the pound sterling and the euro closed at N774 and N660, respectively, according to AbokiFX.
The director-general tasked the federal government to address matters affecting ease of doing business and other real sector parameters for improved economic outcomes.
She said Nigeria needs to boost the supply side of the forex market through inflows from exports, diaspora remittances and crude revenues.
She stressed that policies guiding the sector must be in line with the country’s economic strategy to accommodate the needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
On the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ms Almona said, “government must create an enabling environment by curbing the menace of insecurity that has made it difficult for businesses to access raw materials for production.”
According to her, “If our MSMEs produce at higher costs, their products will not compete well at the international markets.”
She also tasked the government to set aside dedicated funding for targeted sectors “where MSMEs operate to empower them to scale up to meet international standards.
“Government must establish more MSME hubs, particularly high employment sectors such as textile, Agribusiness, and entertainment, to drive industrialisation,” she said.
She charged the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to do more to increase Nigeria’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business index globally.