Economic growth sustainable if driven by private sector —Osinbajo
At a meeting held with the Organized Private Sector (OPS), acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that Nigeria’s economic growth can only be achieved and sustained if left in the hands of the private sector to drive.
This came as the Organised Private Sector (OPS), listed the challenges facing the economy as well as ways to overcome them.
The President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Nike Akande, has called on the Federal Government to include members of OPS in the Ease of Doing Business Committee.
Osinbajo spoke at the second edition of the Presidential Business Forum, a platform to engage and interact with the private sector to keep them abreast with government’s policies, programmes and activities, which held at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “The main focus of our economic plan is the sustenance of the robust private sector partnership. Indeed, it is our strong belief that sustainable economic growth is only possible if it is private sector led and great attention has been paid as you will possibly find in sustaining private sector leadership especially in the planning of the Economic recovery and growth plan 2017, which is to be launched next month.
“The pivot of that plan is the private sector led recovery growth and plan. So, this Forum is an important one for engendering the continuous engagement that this partnership will entail.”
Making a presentation on behalf of the OPS, comprising Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), President of MAN, Mr Frank Jacobs enumerated the challenges the sector is facing which had inadvertently affected the economy.
According to him, there was inadequate foreign exchange, forex in circulation and the monitoring mechanism by the government is ineffective.
He listed about 12 challenges inhibiting business atmosphere in Nigeria, which include access to foreign exchange; diversification of the economy and resource-based industrialisation; long term funding; EU/ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement; patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products and enforcement of the Procurement Act; and collapse of basic infrastructural facilities.
Others are challenges with policy environment; low investment in agriculture and agro-allied businesses; prohibitive gas pricing for industrial users and wrong classification as commercial users; multiple levies by government agencies on same sales promotion; and invasion of premises of members for the purpose of collecting taxes.
Jacobs said: “Collectively, we are the voice of the Organised Businesses in the Private Sector on issues on the Nigerian Economy in particular and the Nation in general.
“We commend you for giving us the opportunity, which we believe, would significantly improve the economy, while strengthening the relationship between the private sector and government.”