•Urges labour to reconsider strike

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, yesterday backed President Bola Tinubu administration’s removal of fuel subsidy, saying it could unlock over N6trillion in revenue annually.

This is even as it called on the Organised Labour movement to sheath its sword and reconsider its threat of another strike.

The Director General of NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Monday said subsidy over the years has neither served the interest of the average Nigerian nor has it promoted enterprise sustainability, growth and competitiveness in the country. He said, “NECA commends the policy thrust of the new administration as enunciated by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during his inaugural address. 

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“Some of the key issues raised that were germane to the survival of organised businesses and the economy at large include the plan to unify the exchange rates; review of multiplicity of taxes; strive towards a higher GDP growth rate; improving accessibility and affordability of electricity; investment in infrastructure; establishment of agricultural hubs, deepening engagement with Organised Private Sector and removal of fuel subsidy.”

Oyerinde emphasised that subsidy removal could unlock over N6 trillion in revenue annually, which can be channeled into infrastructure development. 

He added that reports have shown that less than 3 per cent of Nigerians (the super-rich), benefit from the subsidy regime, but charged the government that efforts at providing immediate short-term palliatives should be fast-tracked in view of its urgency. The NECA Director General also argued  that of greater interest to organised businesses is the implementation framework to drive the policies and level of engagement that will be initiated with the private sector by the new administration. He explained that while the call for palliatives and other short-term interventions are valid and necessary, experiences over the years have shown that short-term solutions such as the provision of mass transit and cash transfers, as proposed with the $800 million loan among others, are shallow and not sustainable.