Industrialists Urge FG, States On Transparency

Industrialists, under the auspices of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), have urged the federal government and States government to make public the amount of funds rescued from reducing cost of governance in Nigeria.

The chamber, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP, acknowledged the recent actions taken by the federal government to cut the cost of governance in Nigeria, commending the government’s decision to reduce the number of public officials on foreign trips and the recent directive to suspend all public-funded foreign trips for government officials, effective April 1, 2024.

These measures, by effectively managing the cost of governance are a positive step towards a more economically stable Nigeria.

The director-general of LCCI, Dr Chinyere Almona stated that, this commitment to public accountability will reassure citizens and companies, fostering a sense of trust and confidence in the government’s financial management.

“We also encourage fiscal transparency, including the exact figures allocated to statutory transfers in the government budgets and amounts allocated for constituency projects undertaken by legislators in the National Assembly.  These disclosures can inspire citizens and companies to pay their taxes with a deep commitment to contributing to the commonwealth of our nation,” she said.

She noted that, “considering the current economic challenges facing our nation, including soaring inflation and high living costs exacerbated by the removal of petrol subsidies and forex market crises, the government must take decisive action to cut unnecessary expenses and even reduce statutory expenditures, where possible.”

LCCI acknowledged “government’s concern about the rising cost of travel borne by Government’s Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). By this suspension, the government can redirect valuable resources towards more pressing priorities, including infrastructure development, social welfare programs, and economic stimulus initiatives.

“The government at all levels and tiers should initiate similar actions to cut the cost of governance within their jurisdictions.  For instance, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, recently signed the Abia State of Nigeria Governors and Deputy Governors Pension Repeal Law of 2024, stopping the payment of pensions to ex-governors and their deputies in the state.

This action is worth emulation by other states and the federal government.”

 

Looking ahead, LCCI envisioned that, “the rescued funds being invested in projects that promote cost-efficiency and automation. One such strategic initiative could be the allocation of rescued funds towards the automation of virtual platforms within each Ministry.

 

“This investment, by enabling remote training and participation in meetings, can significantly reduce the need for costly international travels. This shift towards virtual engagement not only reduces operational expenses but also enhances efficiency and productivity across government agencies. We believe in the potential of these initiatives to inspire and support a more cost-efficient and effective government.”

 

Almona added that the Chamber commends the government for this decisive action in suspending public-funded foreign trips, urging all stakeholders to support efforts aimed at fostering responsible fiscal management and driving inclusive growth in Nigeria.