The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, LCCI, Monday said Nigeria currently suffers from dearth of business and investment statistics needed for strategic planning.
Speaking at the Presentation of the Nigerian Business Confidence Index at Commerce house, the President of LCCI, Mr Goodie Ibru said, If Nigeria must achieve the desired level of development, the place of data and statistics is crucial and that Nigeria currently suffers from dearth of business and investment statistics needed for strategic planning.
“In fact, decision-makers lack regular access to useful leading economic indicators to aid them in making business decisions even in the midst of rising risk profiles in Nigeria. The Lagos Chamber has decided to mitigate this concern by producing a template for the Nigerian Business Confidence Index (BCI)” he said.
According to him, the objective is to produce an initial BCI that will form the basis for a continuous quarterly BCI survey, analysis and report for the country.
It is a tailor made estimate of the business environment from the perception of top private sector players in Nigeria. Among several benefits of the BCI, we expect to see an increase in the quality and flow of information through the business and regulatory landscape, decision makers can begin to make more timely and better informed decisions.
Ibru said the time has therefore come when the Nigerian government would be aided with results of various surveys to be conducted by various interest groups like consultants, the media, research institutes, chambers of commerce and statistics bureaus in this country.
This development is expected to strengthen the policy response of the government. The Business Confidence Index is one of the several indices computed in developed economies to measure the pulse of the economy and particularly the level of confidence the business community has in any particular economy. These indices, no doubt have aided the progress we see today in the most developed economies of the world.
He urged government to give more financial support to national Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to strengthen its capacity to provide the needed data and statistics for information users in this country. I also task the statistical agencies on timely release of data as appropriate for decision making and planning.
The Director, Research and Advocacy, Mr Vincent Nwani while presenting the Maiden edition (Q1, 2013) of Business Confidence Index (BCI), said aggregate BCI scores show that business expectation in Nigeria is currently less confident with a weighted score of 10.5 per cent, This is the aggregate of OECD index indicators score and the localised BCI indicators.
“Kindly note that, BCI indicators are designed so that the score fluctuates between -100 per cent and 100 per cent. For Instance, as investment optimism grows, the indicator would increase from 1 per cent to 100 per cent with a similar decline from -1 per cent to -100 per cent if business leaders become more pessimistic. We ensured that a Nigerian survey take account of the local context that impact businesses in our model. For now, Nigeria lags far behind the 50 per cent minimum benchmark for high business confidence level” he said.