The President of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Akin Oyegbola, has blamed the nation’s stunted economic growth on high inflation, insecurity and perennial fuel scarcity.
He stated this during a press conference on the second APBN 2022 board meeting held in Abuja, yesterday.
Oyegbola said, companies and factories have or were on the verge of shutting down as a result of the high cost of fuel.
He said: “In recent months, we have experienced continuous astronomical increase in the cost of diesel as well as scarcity of petrol in some major cities. While we have no problem with the excuse offered by the government for cause of the scarcity and price hike, its effect on the economy can only be imagined.
“This re-emphasizes the need for local production of petroleum products. We must revive our refineries. We believe this is the way out of the incessant cases of petrol scarcity.
“The economic losses due to the high cost of diesel are massive. Inflation is very high, many companies, factories and airlines have or are at the verge of shutting down due to unsustainable cost of fuel.”
Oyegbola lamented the depreciation of the naira and the security situation and their impacts on the nation’s economy.
“The issue of insecurity has remained a major concern to us. You would recall that one of the issues that came up at the board’s last meeting, which formed a major thrust of the board’s last deliberations.
“The nation’s economy is being stunted, and may not attract the much needed investments as long as there are these palpable feelings of insecurity in the country. The board urges the federal government to sustain its onslaught against bandits, kidnappers and criminal elements across the country.
“For the naira, while we are aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is doing its best to get the naira stable, we see the situation as a very worrisome one,” he added.
He used the opportunity to call both the federal and state governments to engage APBN members for the development of the nation.
“Any economy that wants to develop must find a way to enlist the services of its professionals. We believe the Nigerian governments (national and sub-nationals) are not doing that enough.
“The board will therefore like to call on those in government to begin to look inwards for assistance. APBN boast of an array of qualified professionals that can rub shoulders with their peers anywhere in the world, and we are very ready for national assignments.”
On diversifying the nation’s economy, he said Nigeria must move from mere slogans to practicalise its diversification drive.