The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has advised the Federal Government to invest in transport infrastructure to ease the pressures on citizens when the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) is removed.
The President, LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, gave the advice during her welcome remarks at the virtual presidential policy dialogue session on Friday.
The Federal Government had announced that petrol subsidy would be removed by July 2022, and that it would give a transport grant of N5,000 each to between 30 million and 40 million poor Nigerians for a duration of 12 months.
Mabogunje said, “We are delighted to hear about the proposed removal of fuel subsidy after a long-drawn delay. Beyond the fundamentals that have formed the basis of arguments by major stakeholders, we recommend a corresponding investment in transport infrastructure to ease movement, create more transport choices, and thereby reduce the cost of transportation and logistics.
“Secondly, on the subsidy removal, the estimation of investment in palliatives should be compared with investment in transport infrastructure and see which impacts more on the masses.”
Mabogunje also urged the federal and state governments to build the capacity of both the public and private sectors in understanding the opportunities in the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement to explore Nigeria’s local comparative advantage within the free area.
“We expect states to start the development of their state-wide strategies on exploring the terms of the agreement. The government should also speed up the establishment of proposed Special Economic Zones and industrial hubs to support production for the export markets,” she added.