The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has asked the Federal Government to revaluate the country’s assets to boost revenue and foreign exchange inflows in order to improve the performance of the economy.
According to the LCCI, the current financial challenges occasioned by dwindling revenue has made the government resort to borrowing to finance budget.
In a statement signed by the Director General, LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, the chamber noted that the country’s debt servicing had taken a significant part of the revenue, adding that the budget implementation report revealed that the ratio of debt service to revenue for the period of January to May 2021 increased to about 98% from 83% recorded in 2020.
The chamber noted that the abundant assets in different forms and strategic locations across the country were highly underutilised and therefore “contribute too little to the country’s fiscal and financial situation because their market values are currently not known.”
“There is therefore, a need for government to take urgent steps to establish the market values of the assets, securitize the corporate assets and commercialize the real estate assets to raise revenue for the government and foreign exchange inflows for the country,” the LCCI said.
Some of the recommendations by the chamber, included identification of the country’s public assets at both federal, state and local levels, creation of register with detailed information of these assets and determination of the worth of the assets.
On determining worth of the assets, the chamber suggested securitisation of corporate assets through public share issuance to raise equities, redevelopment and commercialisation of physical assets to raise revenue, and liberalisation of key public infrastructure sectors such as railway, pipelines and power transmission, to attract private investors to boost activities in those sectors.
The LCCI also recommended massive investment in human capital development in terms of skills acquisition programmes for the citizens to boost the country’s human assets profile.
The chamber called for the creation of an online digital platform where financial and commercial assets could be offered for investment.
It added that the platform would avail private investors of relevant investment opportunities in those assets.
The LCCI said it would engage with all relevant stakeholders to discuss mechanisms for the implementation of its recommended measures.