The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has indicated that 2020 will witness high cost of doing business.
The Chamber’s Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf indicated this position, in the LCCI 2019 Economic Review and Outlook For 2020 made available to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos, attributing the projected high cost to poor infrastructure, multiplicity of levies, excessive regulations etc.
Yusuf said that while the nation may have recorded improvement on the Ease of Doing Business Ranking due to some recent policy measures, realities on ground would continue to differ if the highlighted challenges were not properly addressed.
He said that the performance of the trade sector in 2020 would be shaped by the direction of government policies.
Yusuf anticipated that the manufacturing sector would continue to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s aggressive credit push.
He, however, predicted that competition between foreign and local producers would fade on prolonged closure of land borders.
The director general said that headline inflation was expected to trend higher in 2020.
He said this would be driven by implementation of new minimum wage and continued closure of the land border.
Yusuf said that higher Value Added Tax rate of 7.5 per cent and the early disbursement of funds for budget implementation following the return of the budget cycle would also be contributory factors.
“We expect economic growth to remain subdued at around 2 per cent by 2020 as consumer demand, as well as private sector investment, will most likely remain weak.
“We are of the view that failure by government to fix structural constraints with regards to fixing power challenges and rehabilitating deplorable road networks, will perpetuate the poor productivity and performance of the sector.
“In our opinion, continued protectionist measures of government will most likely limit growth in 2020.”