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ICCN tasks FG on economy, sovereign risk reduction  

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Babatunde Savage. PHOTO: Guinness Nigeria

The Federal Government has been urged to review her policy regime towards fostering sound and efficient business regulations and enabling environment where entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises can thrive.

Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN), Mr. Babatunde Savage, who made the call at its 20th annual general meeting in Lagos, also urged the Government to reduce sovereign risk in order to boost the economy through foreign direct investments.

Savage, who spoke shortly after his reelection as the chairman of the Board noted
that many International organisations with  large sum of money are slacking to invest in the country  due to  heavy sovereign  risk issues.

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There are a lot of many bankable funds, but the fears of sovereign risk, he said,  is slowing down foreign direct investment in Nigeria and Africa,

The chartered accountant stressed the  need for government to initiate policies that will open Nigeria and Africa as a whole for business to address the problem of unemployment, emigration and security challenges in the country.

According to him, although globalization has resulted to inequality  but it has also created opportunity for us  as a nation endowed with huge resources to transform for the general goods by using our population.

He noted the huge number of youth   below 30 years with little or no skill, stressing the need to create opportunity for this category of youth to thrive.

“We are so endowed as a nation but we  cannot be said to  have created enough opportunities, hence the high level of emigration yet many people are coming to Nigeria  for opportunities.

“The big questions to our leaders is how come others are immigrating to Nigerian, while our youths are leaving in droves, we need to create opportunities to accommodate this category of people in order to help them unleash the potentials”, he said.

He stressed that ICCN as an organization must ensure that Nigeria is open up for business to unleash the great potentials, which will help to absorb the large number of unemployed youths.

Regretting that Nigeria dropped by a spot in the latest World Bank Ease of doing business ranking for 2018, released by the global financial institution, he called for an urgent need for the government to review her policy regime towards fostering sound and efficient business regulations and enabling environment where entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises can thrive and improve her ranking in 2019 report.

According to him, there is need to have a distinctive global approach and strategies for bringing our economy to the point of relevance to pave the way for a sustainable business growth that will create room for prosperity on the economic outlook.

He also said Nigeria can move up the ranking of the global competitiveness index in 2019, if both the public and private sectors work synergies and partnerships to improve the institutions, ICT adoption, macroeconomic environment, skills, product and labour markets, financial system and market size.

Savage further called for  a radical robust approach to budget implementation to ensure that he 2019 budget tagged “ Budget of Continuity, amounts to N8.92 trillion meets it purpose  of reposition the economy on the path of higher, inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth as well as lifting more Nigerians out of poverty.

On the business environment, he said government promised to improve transportation infrastructure in the country has not yielded the desired result since 2018 till date as over 50 per cent of Federal and state roads are still in poor conditions, resulting in increasing cost of production of between 50-60 per cent in Nigeria.

This scenario, he said does not depict any level of seriousness expected if we must as a country achieve the earmarked goals of transformation Agenda.

On the area of security to life and property, he said the business environment has remained hostile due to illegal touting activities of hoodlums, armed robbery, kidnaping activities, vandalisation of major oil and gas pipeline in Niger, Delta Boko Haram insurgency in the North east, banditry on the northwest, we need to ensure that peace prevails become the order of the day to usher in economic prosperity in Nigeria.

Boardroom guru and Chairman Emeritus  of ICCN, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye commended members of the Board for working for the promotion of investment and trade for the general goods in Nigeria.

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Babatunde SavageICCN
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