The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concerns over the spate of regulatory sanctions imposed on companies in recent times, saying the developments may be counter-productive to the Federal Government’s efforts to attract foreign investments into the country.
The LCCI, in a statement on Sunday, specifically said the N1.0498tn fine imposed on five companies in recent weeks could push Nigeria’s ranking further backward in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business and World Economic Forum’s Global Competiveness Index.
It listed the companies as MTN Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, United Bank for Africa Plc and Skye Bank Plc.
The Nigerian Communications Commission had recently imposed N1.04tn ($5.2bn) fine on MTN Nigeria over non-registration of Subscriber Identity Module cards, while the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control also fined Guinness Nigeria N1bn administrative charge
Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria also imposed N4bn, N1.9bn and N2.9bn fines on Skye Bank, First Bank and UBA respectively recently for concealing Federal Governments funds in violation of the Treasury Single Account policy.
While restating its aversion for infraction of extant regulations, the LCCI said it expected sanctions to be “proportionate and corrective”, pointing out that the recent regulatory sanctions were “severe, arbitrary and disproportionate.”
According to the chamber’s president, there is need for a clear framework on the imposition of sanctions or penalties, while noting that the limit of regulatory discretional powers must be clearly defined.
The LCCI leader noted that the perception and ranking of Nigeria as an investment destination was already unsatisfactory.