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Naira: Private sector laments high costs of doing business

The stakeholders told our correspondents that due to the import dependent nature of the Nigerian economy, the sharp decline in the Naira exchange rate has…

The stakeholders told our correspondents that due to the import dependent nature of the Nigerian economy, the sharp decline in the Naira exchange rate has naturally pushed up the operating costs of enterprises, thereby contributing immensely to decline in the economy.
They also expressed the belief that businesses driven by government patronage are likely to experience much decline, given the current government revenue outlook, while capital projects of government will reduce drastically and affect some segments of the private sector.
President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Alhaji Remi Bello noted that as at mid-January, oil price had dropped below $50 per barrel.
According to him, “While the current global and domestic economic conditions portend profound challenges for the private sector, there would be pressures on costs driven by the depreciating Naira and there would be structural shifts in demand and competitiveness in favour of high local content.”
He added that there was need to reconstruct the economy to be more inward looking and more resourceful.
Mrs. Adetoun Adetayo, a textile merchant in Lagos Island told Daily Trust that she borrowed money from the bank to import textile materials which were much less in volume than the previous period’s when the Naira was strong enough relative to its dollar equivalent.
She said “to worsen the situation, the textile materials are not being bought by customers the way they should be, because of high cost. My bank has equally given me notice of the expiration of the loan advanced to me to import the product. I am now looking for how to pay back the bank.”

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