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Stakeholders advocate increased public, private sector collaboration

By Guardian Nigeria
15 October 2021   |   4:05 am
Stakeholders at the virtual launch of Enterprise NGR yesterday, stressed the need for improved collaboration between the public and private sector in a bid to create an economy that can attract needed investments.

Director, EnterpriseNGR and Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Exchange Group Plc, Oscar Onyema (left); Chief Executive Officer, EnterpriseNGR, Obi Ibekwe and Chairman of the Board, EnterprisesNGR, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede at the Voice of Enterprise event for the launch of Financial and Professional Services (FPS) group, EnterprisesNGR, in Lagos…yesterday

Stakeholders at the virtual launch of Enterprise NGR yesterday, stressed the need for improved collaboration between the public and private sector in a bid to create an economy that can attract needed investments.

Specifically, the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo described EnterpriseNGR as a game-changer in the economy and would foster increased collaboration between the public and private sector.

EnterpriseNGR is a professional policy and advocacy group established with the objective of promoting and advocating for the Financial and Professional Services (FPS); sector of Nigeria, with a view to transforming Nigeria into the premier financial services centre in Africa.

Osinbajo, during the official launch of EnterpriseNGR tagged: “Voices of Enterprise” said the organisation has the overarching vision to advance Nigeria’s transformation with premium financial services to make the domestic environment competitive and attractive.

He described EnterpriseNGR as a united and powerful voice of the Nigerian business community to drive economic development.

Earlier in his remarks, the EnterpriseNGR Board Chairman, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, stated that the private sector and government must work together to promote Nigeria, both overseas and domestically.

He also affirmed that as a world-class centre for financial services, EnterpriseNGR would lead private sector advocacy and interventions in partnership with government and regulators.

On her part, the Chief Executive Officer, EnterpriseNGR, Ms Obi Ibekwe, said the goal of the organisation is to place 5,000 interns yearly and scale it up to 1, 000, 000 over 10 years.

Continuing, she added: “This effort reinforces our determination to contribute our quota towards resolving the unemployment problem in Nigeria. Working alongside identified partners in the financial and professional services sector, we will engage and recruit graduates for a combination of virtual and in-person internship roles at partner organisations.”

The Chief Executive Officer of FBN Quest Merchant Bank, Kayode Akinkugbe expressed worry about the impact of slow economic growth on various sectors of the economy, especially in the financial industry.

He identified infrastructure, financial environment and ease of doing business as major socio-economic constraints, stating that policies must be designed to address uncertainties in these areas and attract new business.

He said: “ We must move away from having potential to actualising and optimising our potential. The infrastructure space is a key enabler. There are opportunities that have a multiplier effect if well harnessed. We need improvement that businesses can see.’”

Akinkugbe also called for active government collaboration with the private sector in ensuring that appropriate policies are adopted to grow all sectors.

Regional Group Director of sub-Saharan Africa for Enterprise Singapore, Rahul Ghosh, said to secure the business environment, Nigeria must create an enabling environment that business managers can feel at the operational level.

He also underscored the need for government and financial institutions to create institutional support for growth of small and medium enterprises, especially in creating products that would grow the sector.

Chairperson, Aluko and Oyebode firm, Kofo Dosekun said Nigeria needs policies that would help strengthen institutions, particularly the judiciary and ensure that the independence of the judiciary is guarded and assured.

“We need policies that would encourage government agencies to work with legal practitioners. We need policies that would ensure that justices are delivered in a timely manner. The Nigerian court must ensure that they do not interfere in the arbitration process, we must develop a good justice system in Nigeria.”

Former Minister for Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson said there is an urgent need to improve the performance of the insurance sector to create more wealth for the economy.

She pointed out that innovations in technology and creation of micro insurance products can attract more investment in the insurance sector and help improve its contribution to economic growth.

According to her, developing a strong financial system in Nigeria and growing the economy required a more collaborative effort and the involvement of all sectors to achieve a meaningful result.