Budget delay’ll worsen economic uncertainty – LCCI

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said the delay in the passage of the 2014 budget will escalate uncertainties in the economy and cause a lull in the delivery of infrastructural projects.

This, LCCI said in a statement on Sunday, would have a deep impact on productivity in the economy.

The group also said that delayed budget passage would lead to slow payment of government contractors and might cause breaches of contractual agreement.

The Director-General, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said this was the outcome of the chamber’s first council meeting of the year, which was presided over by the President, Alhaji Remi Bello.

He said, “The LCCI council reviewed the progress on the 2014 federal budget and expressed concern over the prospects of a long delay in the passage of the budget.

“Such delay has a number of consequences for the economy: Escalation of uncertainty in the economy; delay in the delivery of infrastructural projects, which has a profound impact on productivity in the economy; delay in the payment of contractors for government projects; and risk to contractual agreements on various government projects.”

In view of this, the group called on the National Assembly to expedite the consideration of the proposals, without compromising the quality of its deliberations and scrutiny of the budget.

The LCCI also said the continuous delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill was negatively impacting on investments in the oil and gas sector with adverse implications for the economy.

“The oil and gas sector has one of the greatest potential for the attraction of foreign direct investments. But the continued policy uncertainty has resulted in stagnation of investment in the sector,” it said.

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