By Merit Ibe
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to postpone the date of commencement of the e-invoicing policy, to enable members get acquainted with the new dispensation.
President John Udeagbala, made the remark at a briefing to review the state of the economy, where he noted that the the recently introduced e-invoicing and price verification policy of the CBN which is set to commence on February 1, 2022, is not without it’s transition challenges, which could lead to chaos with immediate implementation.
Udeagbala also requested the apex bank to make the operation of these policies cost-friendly.
Applauding the Federal Government and the National Assembly for ensuring the prompt passage of the national budget within a timeframe that ensures its execution within a January to December budget cycle, the NACCIMA boss noted with concern, a recurrent expenditure budget of NGN6.9trillion largely unmet by the estimate revenue of N4.1trillion from crude oil.
Udeagbala lamented that the government was turning to taxes and foreign debt to make up the deficit, advocating for less dependence on debt financing and effective implementation of the budget to address the productivity challenges of the economy.
He suggested a pragmatic solution to the problem of widening infrastructure deficit, which he said it is to seek a wider collaboration between the public and private sector as is evident in the success stories of the Presidential Executive Order 7 of 2019 on road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme.
“We propose this strategy due to the fact that capital expenditure has fallen short in implementation in recent years. Only 60% of the NGN2.7trillion budgeted for capital expenditure in 2020 and 55% of the N2.1trillion budgeted in 2019, were actually expended. We recommend for the massive expansion of Executive Order 7, which constitutes a non-interest loan by the private sector to the government towards infrastructure development, payable in future, in the form of tax credits.”
He said the unemployment crisis with its security implications, deserves urgent attention and a definitive resolution.
He noted that the chamber has been working with the government and other private sector operators and stakeholders to provide jobs to reduce unemployment.
“We, therefore, ask government to liberalise the business environment to enable our members do more.”