• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Attend to Nigerians’ agitation over rising cost of living – NECA urges FG

NECA sets to engage FG on Tinubu’s economic reforms

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to address agitations by Nigerians over the rising cost of living in the country.

The employers’ body said that it was imperative for the government to take urgent and deliberate actions to mitigate the persistent rise in inflation in order to check what it called “fast-accelerating cost of living in the country. Such actions, NECA noted, may include price stability mechanisms, periodic feedback on the progress of the ongoing work at the refineries, reversal of the value-added tax (VAT) on diesel and suspension of the planned upward review of electricity tariff.

Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, the director-general of NECA, who communicated the position of the association via a statement obtained by BusinessDay, said the current situation in the country, was also taking a toll on businesses, some of which have closed down.

Read also: Suspension of Finance Act 2023 relief for overburdened businesses- NECA

“This situation is having a negative impact on Nigeria’s poverty and production index. In the last one year, we have witnessed rising inflation, commodity price instability, reduced industry capacity utilisation, and dwindling purchasing power of Nigerians, all of which have further dragged many enterprises out of existence and Nigerians below the poverty lines.

“While the current administration has lined out policy plans to improve the living standards of the masses, such plans must be backed by deliberate and quick responses. As it is obvious to all, there is increasing agitation owing to the rising cost of living, compounded by the increasing cost of petrol and threat of increment in electricity tariff, amongst others.”

The DG also noted that while the removal of petrol subsidy, renewed efforts at curbing oil theft, and the ongoing attempt to reform the tax administration system with the appointment of Taiwo Oyedele as chairman of the Tax Reform Committee, were commended, it was important, however, that the government takes more drastic steps to stop the slide into hopelessness by Nigerians and the organised businesses.

“It is instructive to note that businesses and households are currently being over-stretched beyond their shock buffers. Already, there is a drag on business operation as production plans are persistently displaced by frequently changing factor costs, and households are constantly adjusting consumption to accommodate their inadequate real income,” said Adewale-Smatt. He called on the government to urgently conclude all palliative measures provide some immediate respite to both individual and corporate citizens.