Expert tasks entrepreneurs on business survival

Former President of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, (NECA), Chief Olusegun Osunkeye has advised entrepreneurs in the country to operate with sound business principles to survive the harsh environment in which businesses operate in Nigeria.

He also urged them to always reconcile their various bank accounts regularly saying that is one of the bases where Nigerian banks make money.

Osunkeye said: “If you don’t do reconciliation, you won’t see some charges being input into your account and that is a lot of money, so sound business principles is very important.

“First of all small and medium enterprises in Nigeria have my deep sympathy because business in Nigeria requires a lot of courage and endurance. But having said that there are ways they can mitigate the harsh environment in which the Nigeria businesses operate, they must conform to sound business principles.”

He made the call at a business meeting of the Rotary Club of Ikeja in Lagos.

Osunkeye, who had been on boards of several blue chip organisations in Nigeria said that he was able to sustain his position and self-respect in multinational companies by being truthful, of good character based on competence.

Speaking on why some Nigerians who have excelled in private sector are not active in the public sector especially politics, Chief Osunkeye who was also the Past President of Rotary Club of Lagos said it is because the terrain is different, the environment is different.

“If some of the leaders in private sector go to the public sector, they may not perform because the environment is different. It’s like if you put worm in water it will swim, if you put it in gin, it will die. So the environment in which you find yourself, determines what you do. In public sector it is different, there you obey different masters, different poises, different values and therefore if you try to use their own values, you may discredit yourself, your integrity will be lost.

“For the leaders, who have excelled in private sector, the common factor is integrity. In that environment, you have policy, you have direction, you have strategy, which you follow, and you are focused. And because the public sector environment is different, the people who succeed in the private sector cannot perform there,” he added.

Osunkeye who is a renowned accountant, former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nestle, said that integrity, good character and competence are the keys to success in business and to remain in position of authority in any organisation.

He commended the Federal Government for closing the borders after signing the free trade agreement in order to protect local industries and the indigenous businesses. He described the Nigerians market as big for consumption and not for manufacturing which makes that decision very appropriate to boost the economy.

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