The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, have said government agencies, ministries, departments, MDAs, have become undertakers of businesses in the country.
They also lamented that rising inflation, multiplicity of taxes and threats of strike and protests, among others, have continued to frustrate organised businesses in Nigeria, reports Vanguard.
Former president of NECA, Sam Ohuabunwa, spoke in a similar manner.
NECA and MAN, however, commended organised businesses for their resilience, despite the hostile business environment.
They spoke at the third edition of NECA Employers’ Excellence Awards 2022, with the theme “Against All Odds,” in Lagos late Wednesday night.
Businesses can’t take these anymore
Speaking at the event attended by business leaders in the country, the Director-General of NECA, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, warned that organised businesses will no longer accept the situation where their social partners or government had become undertakers of legitimate businesses.
He said: “Despite the fact that inflation rate is almost 30 per cent, multiplicity of taxes and threats of strike and protest, organised businesses remain standing.
‘’We are here to celebrate the resilience of businesses because it is not easy for us to be in the trenches from January to December, advocating, engaging and writing when the need arises.
‘”This is a time for us to breathe. As organised businesses, this event is for us to sit down together and reflect, not on how bad things have been, but what the future holds.
“This is for those who have been wondering that if businesses are not doing well, there won’t be a gathering to celebrate. This is a message for agencies, ministries, departments of government and authority that hitherto have played the role of undertakers for many businesses.
“Moving forward, organised businesses will not allow anybody, either social partners or the government, to continue to be the undertakers of legitimate businesses.
“The best promoter of foreign direct investment, FDI, is basically local businesses. This night is for us to celebrate your businesses, its doggedness, your capacity and potential to generate employment; your potential and capacity to increase the Gross Democratic Product, GDP, of this country beyond the imagination of government and also celebrate your contribution to the growth of this country, not only Nigeria, but the whole Sub-Saharan region.”
Although the NECA boss was not specific on how the MDAs were making things difficult for businesses in the country, Vanguard gathered that implementation of policies enunciated by government to bring relief to businesses were often frustrated by MDAs’ personnel.
‘MDAs have created unfriendly business environment’
Similarly, the Director-General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, corroborated issues raised by NECA, saying most MDAs have made the environment in the country too unfriendly for business.
He said Nigeria urgently needs investments to be able to create jobs for teeming unemployed youths, stressing that current harsh business environment had made this difficult.
He said: “We run an economy where the environment is hardly conducive for business, but you see patriots, resilient investors and you see people who, in spite of all odds, believe in Nigeria. Therefore, tonight is for celebration.
“It is to celebrate resilience and belief in a country that has continuously underperformed far below its potential. Today, we all represent champions that will ensure Nigeria takes its place as a leading economy in Africa.
“I want to urge the organised private sector to influence policies that will improve our economy. We celebrate you and we thank those who have graced this occasion because you represent what Nigeria should be, which is the ‘would do spirit.’”
On his part, former President of NECA, Mr. Sam Ohuabunwa, said: “if Nigeria wants to grow its economy, it needs investment because it is critical to funding, establishing businesses, programmes and projects.
“These businesses, programmes and projects will create jobs. Jobs will create wealth and wealth will create prosperity and drive poverty away. The investments we are looking for are both foreign and domestic.
“I want to encourage employers, investors and everyone doing business in our country to do more. This country needs a whole lot of investment, we need more jobs to be created, we need more wealth to be created, so we can eliminate poverty or at least improve upon it.”