‘Government reforms to strengthen institutions, aid ease of doing business’
The Federal Government has stated that concerns over investments inflow and ease of doing business are being addressed under new reforms that will see the emergence of strong institutions to implement set agenda.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while speaking at a forum in Lagos, expressed concerns about Nigeria’s low ranking in the world as regards the ease of doing business, saying that the federal government has set up a technical committee to comprehensively review the institutional, regulatory and associated instruments affecting businesses in Nigeria.
Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Sam Egwu, Saraki added that there are numbers of reform bills currently going on to jumpstart the Nigerian economy and strengthen Nigerian institutions, maintaining that this bill has the potential to cut poverty and reduce unemployment by creating a friendly environment for investors and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“The bill includes the public procurement act amendment bill which has already been passed by the senate. Other bills aimed at improving our transport networks and maintenance culture includes the private sector infrastructure replacement and protection bill”, he added.
He noted that the nation will require a collective approach to solve its insecurity challenges, saying that the federal government, civil society groups, business and organisations must fight insecurity so as to create an enabling environment where business organisations will feel free and secure to achieve their full potentials to ensure sustainable economic development
Indeed, other stakeholders affirmed that no business can be done in an unsecured environment and one bedevilled by several socio-economic and political concerns.
LCCI president, Dr. Nike Akande, said security of life and property is a very critical factor in the investment environment, urging managers of the Nigerian economy to as a matter of urgency to prioritise developmental efforts in addressing the security situation in the country.
Akande said in recent years, the country has been grappling with security issues bordering on terrorism, religious and ethnic crisis, attacks on oil installations, kidnapping, armed robbery, attacks by herdsmen and the likes, warning that the impact of these security challenges on business is phenomenal.
She said not much investment activities are taking place in the north-eastern part of the country and also in some other parts of the country.
She pointed out that the oil and gas sector is facing serious challenges of attacks on oil installations and the effects have been very profound on the economy, saying that the attacks by herdsmen on farming communities across the country has a significant effect o agricultural activities.
“There is also a serious perception problem that the security phenomenon has created for Nigerian in the global community. There is no better time to look at the business dimension of the security problems than now,” she said.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Abayomi Olonisakin who was represented by Rear Admiral JKZ Ango, said insecurity will always exist where there is presence of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and hopelessness, saying these factors provide a fertile environment for recruiting thugs and vandals who are ready to engage in any form of brigandage for a pot of porridge.
He added that to sustain an environment conducive for the peaceful and prosperous conduct of business and industrial development, concerted efforts must be put in place for the education of the teeming population and job creation.
He also urged multinational enterprises to examine their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and be sure that they are responsive to the needs of the communities where they are located.
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