‘Unfriendly business clime keeping U.S. firms from Nigeria’
Experts demand proper implementation of economic recovery, growth plan
Though Nigerian market offers a massive investment opportunities that would have boosted operation of U.S companies in the country massive, but the ability of government to tackle infrastructure shortfall and address the high cost of doing business in the country may be keeping investors, particularly Americans from Nigeria,United States Consul General in Lagos, John Bray said on Tuesday.
Bray, along with other stakeholders discussed on “Improving the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria” at breakfast meeting of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) insisted unless the Federal Government’s Economic. Recovery and Growth Plan is properly implemented, the desired objective may remain elusive.
Lamenting on harsh business environment, he said: “We know of these challenges and tend to sit on the positive side of this pendulum. We know that the challenges are small and Nigeria has the talent, resources and ability to fix all these problems I have mentioned.
“I can promise the U.S. Government will be Nigeria’s biggest cheerleader and we will be available with ideas, programmes, and media connections to strengthen Nigeria’s economy.
From about 96 position in 2006 Nigeria currently ranked 169 among 190 economies in the latest ease of doing business statistic of the World Bank. Though Bray lauded efforts to put the country back on growth path, he lamented that access to forex as a one-stop shop whose success will be determined by executing its plan and a common resolve and commitment of government and civil societies to work together in new and innovative ways.
National President and Chairman of Council Nigeria – American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Olabintan Famutimi said the current rankin of Nigeria in the the World Bank’s Ease of doing business is unacceptable and must be reversed.
Noting that “The parlous ranking of Nigeria on the global index as one of the most unfriendly places to do business has dodge the country for many many years,” Famutimi lauded effort of government to ease business operations in the country but called for a firm implementation.
The President, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said unless there is a paradigm shift in government’s efforts and particularly in the attitude of public servants desired economic growth may remain un achieve.
Calling for a massive paradigm shift, Aig-Imoukhuede said though there is a 20 percent improvement in tax payments and a 4 percent increase in electricity supply, trading across borders and other aspects of the economy remained poor.
Coordinator Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), who is also special assistance to the President on Industry, Trade and investment, Jumoke Oduwole, analysing efforts of the administration to create business friendly environment urged the private sector to corporate with government in addressing the challenges.
She said government aimed to build institutional capacity, sustain efforts and develop strong political will.
Oduwole added that government would also foster collaboration with all agencies and continue to improve its plans.