By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday advised the Federal Government to create an environment that would assist in reducing operating and production costs toward achieving its single-digit inflation rate target.
The Director-General of LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Yusuf’s reaction came on the heels of the April inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
NBS said the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, increased to 11.37 per cent (year-on-year) in April, from 11.25 per cent recorded in March.
This represents an increase of 0.12 per cent and the first increase after three consecutive declines in inflation rate for 2019.
The bureau, however, said the high inflation figure was caused by increase in prices of some foodstuffs.
Yusuf noted that inflation rate at 11.37 per cent was still high, and negatively impacting on the welfare of Nigerians.
He said that the key drivers of inflation in the economy were production and operating costs, saying that inflation was not demand-driven because aggregate demand and purchasing power were weak.
“We need to address issues of operating, production and transportation costs and also boost productivity across sectors.
“Let us try to increase productivity in manufacturing and agricultural sectors to scale up our output level; if our output level increases, inflation will naturally come down,’’ the LCCI boss said.
Yusuf urged the government to boost the momentum of easing the business environment, toward making life more meaningful for the citizens.