Envoy tasks leaders on innovation, recommits to Nigeria-France trade ties
As economies across the world bounce back from the challenges of COVID-19, Consule Générale of France in Nigeria, Laurence Monmayrant, has tasked business leaders to be innovative, while reaffirming France’s continued relation with Nigeria in the public and private sectors.
Monmayrant stated this, yesterday, in Lagos at a luncheon for CEOs, organised by the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in partnership with KPMG Nigeria, titled, ‘Leadership: Navigating through the uncertainties’.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic put world economies on a standstill, with countries recording negative GDP figures and production being halted due to the enforcement of lockdowns. This, in turn, led to companies closing the year with a deficit. She noted that in such situation, responsibilities for recovery rest on the shoulders of states and business leaders.
She said corporate organisations are adapting to new standards in their operations, especially by leveraging technology. “As far as French companies are concerned, I am pleased to underline that they all made the choice to stay in Nigeria. In these difficult times, they showed solidarity and remarkable social responsibility, through numerous initiatives,” she said.
Senior Partner, KPMG in Nigeria and Chairman, KPMG Africa, Kunle Elebute, said the most important thing the pandemic taught is to look after people; to ensure they are safe and get all the help they require to operate remotely.
Speaking on economic projection for the country, he said: “We would continue to see growth; I don’t think we would see growth like we saw in the last quarter of five per cent. On the average, this year, we would see two and half to three per cent growth, which is not good for the country.”
In his remarks, Director General, FNCCI, Moses Umoru, said the pandemic is reshaping things, with focus for post COVID-19 being cyber security and managing people. He said issues around corporate governance are the responsibilities of CEOs; hence the reason for the meeting.