The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has faulted the report published by the National Bureau of Statistics which stated that the manufacturing sector posted a positive 3.4 per cent despite the challenges that have rocked the sector.
Nigeria’s economy struggled to recover from the Covid-19 induced shock to grow by 0.51 per cent in the first quarter of 2021.
LCCI in a statement signed by its Director General, Muda Yusuf, said on Monday that the report had a ” few pleasant surprises.”
Top of the surprises that the LCCI pointed out was the growth in the manufacturing sector by 3.4 per cent in the first quarter.
“The data does not reflect the reality of the experiences of most manufacturers,” said Yusuf .
The Chamber argued that the sector has been grappling with an unprecedented foreign exchange illiquidity crisis over the past few months.
“This is coupled with the structural, policy, institutional and macroeconomic challenges that have bedevilled the sector,” the LCCI boss said.
Yusuf said most foreign exchange dependent manufacturing sectors have slowed down over the past one year.
But the DG admitted that segments of manufacturing with high levels of backward integration had lesser degrees of foreign exchange shocks.
Another area of contention in the new data is the agric sector which has been under serious threat due to the activities of terrorists and bandits in the Northern region.
“The agricultural sector expanded by 2.28 per cent despite the ravaging effects of insecurity, farmers herders clashes and the displacement of many farming communities,” said Yusuf.
LCCI also classified the result for the agric sector as a ‘pleasant surprise.’
For the growth of 6.31 per cent growth recorded in the ICT sector, the LCCI said it was expected following the opportunities created for ICT in the new normal.
It added, “The cost reflective tariff appears to have impacted positively on the electricity sector which recorded 8.66 per cent.
“This was one of the highest sectoral growth performances in the GDP report. But a lot of issues remain to be resolved in the electricity sector.
“Electricity supply in many parts of the country is still epileptic. The metering programme is not keeping pace with demand.”