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‘Businesses must be resilient, security conscious as elections draw nearer’

By Benjamin Alade
06 July 2022   |   3:03 am
As the elections draw nearer, experts have said businesses need to be resilient in sustaining their investments.

OAL

As the elections draw nearer, experts have said businesses need to be resilient in sustaining their investments.

The experts who spoke at a breakfast meeting by Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) with the theme, ‘A bird’s eye view on the Nigerian political and economic environment’, sponsored by Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) in Lagos, said businesses also need to provide security for their investments as the security situation in the country is becoming weaker.

Partner at PwC, Kenneth Erikume, said businesses considering elections have to think of sustainability. A year before the election, there would be spending of money by the government to exhaust the budget, especially on infrastructure.

Erikume said before the end of the year, the election is risky for businesses as signing of documents among other things would be put on hold.

Founder at Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, Dr Ola Brown, said when you increase the price of food and fuel, people will revolt.

However, she said the risk of agitations is the reason the government does not want to remove subsidies, stating that it is easy to remove but difficult to sustain.

Speaking on foreign exchange, she said Nigeria does not have enough dollars because of crude oil, hence, there is need to curb crude oil theft and diversify to other things that bring in dollars to Nigeria.

Senior Partner, OAL, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, (SAN) said the voting population doesn’t react to trends, because if the voting population reacted to trends, the ruling party would have lost the election in Ekiti state. There is a relationship between performance and remaining in office.

Agbakoba said Nigeria is in a unique position in the context of borrowing, adding that the solution is to take a tough decision. “Nigeria should remove subsidy and allow foreign exchange to float,” he said.

Partner SBM, Tunde Ajileye, said the security situation in Nigeria is dynamic as it caters for the political class followed by the business elite while there is little or no security for the masses.
Speaking on whether the election would be held next year, he answered in the affirmative, stating that the reason people do not turn out to vote is the fear of violence.

However, he said businesses will need to make arrangements for their security as the elections draw near because the security architecture may not be sufficient.