By Laleye Dipo
Despite the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market, which translates to reduced income for governments in the country, the Nigerian Association of Chambers Of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has said the three tiers of government can still pay the salaries of their workers.
The Director General of NACCIMA in Niger State, Alhaji Salihu Adamu, made this known in Minna on Wednesday while exchanging views with newsmen.
Adamu said what will go to the coffers of the three tiers of government at the end of the month will pay workers’ salaries and take care of other developmental projects and programmes of the governments though they have to reorder their priorities.
He asked: “Can you see any of them (political leaders) going abroad for one reason or the order? None of them has even gone to Abuja for their so called governors forum meeting. They have all remained at home and this has saved a lot of money for the state governments.
“They should cut all these unnecessary expenditure because if they don’t pay workers they will be creating more problem for the economy.”
Adamu told the political leadership of the country to learn how to spend wisely, adding that: “When you have excess fund, you indulge in projects that are not necessary but when you don’t have excess fund, you prioritise your projects.”
According to him, “The coronavirus will be here for a long time, so we should learn how to live with it.”
He commended the federal government for the steps so far taken to keep major businesses and industries afloat despite the negative effect of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the steps have brought some stability to the national economy.
The Director General said in line with the window given by the federal government, at least 100 small and medium scale enterprises across Niger State have been given “Exemption letters” which has provided them the opportunity to continue doing business despite the lockdown, adding that the businesses are doing well.
He also disclosed that about 20 businesses have applied for the Covid-19 CBN/SMES loan through the chamber, stressing that the companies could start assessing the facilities within the next two weeks.
Adamu said the coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on the 18th edition of state
Domestic Trade Fair which is supposed to hold between April and June this year, adding that the trade fair might not hold again this year.