• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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NACCIMA urges incentives, better infrastructure to drive agriculture

Mining

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged more incentives for farmers and other agriculture players, while also asking the government for better infrastructure to boost real investment in the sector.

Badaru Mohammed Abubakar, national president, NACCIMA, said incentives and adequate infrastructure would frontally address challenges of low productivity and poor research and development (R&D) bogging the industry.

According to him, there have been increases in large-scale farming activities in the country, owing to policy formulations of the Federal Government, with results already manifesting in large-scale cultivation projects by Olam and Dangote groups.

He, however, bemoaned delay in budget assent by the president, saying that the trend had unpalatable consequences, including dislocation of proper planning by the government and private sectors whose plans were directly dependent on the policies and provisions of annual budgets.

“I, therefore, wish to counsel that the executive and the legislature at Federal and State levels should strictly adhere to the extant practice of timely crafting, presentation, debate, passage and signing of the annual national/ state budgets latest by mid-December and for the president/ governors to sign and subsequently announce same to the citizens on 1st January of every year, in the overall interest of the nation,” he said at the economic briefing in Lagos.

Gas shortage and its attendant negative effect on the manufacturing sector have been on the centre stage for some time now. Manufacturers and firms in other sectors incur high production costs owing to poor power situations, which prompt them to resort to generators. However, gas shortages in these firms in recent times have interrupted production, with the attendant consequences of crimped growth and reduced profits.

“There shortage in supply to industries has affected capacity utilisation and production output and thus competitiveness of industries in the country,” he stressed.

He further urged institutions of higher learning to tailor their curricula to the need of industries as firms often requested expertise from other climes even when the country had abundant human resources.

“We are still worried the policy of 24 hours cargo clearance bygovernment is yet to become a reality as the issue of cargo congestion has continued unabated at the ports,” he said, adding that the trend was being compounded by the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), issuance and wrong computation, huge demurrage to shipping companies, gridlocks on roads to the ports, among others.

He counseled that to minimize multiple taxation and levies, which bogged firms operating in the country, the task force already constituted should intensify efforts to eliminate harassment by tax officials.

ODINAKA ANUDU