UNIDO seeks public-private partnership to ease business process

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The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has called for increased partnership between the public and private sectors in order to significantly improve Nigeria’s business climate.

The UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, made the call in a keynote address titled: ‘Enhancing Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria: An Impetus to Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth’, during the 57th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Friday.

While commending the efforts of the Federal Government to improve the country’s business climate, the UNIDO official noted that an enhanced business environment was critical for achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development.

He said, “There is no doubting the fact that an enhanced ease of doing business creates the needed impetus for economic recovery and sustainable growth. This is particularly the case at a time like this when Nigeria’s economy is currently and actively engaged on the path of getting out of recession. In this regard, UNIDO will like to commend the work of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, which has taken the bull by the horn in driving the country towards attainment of its targets improving ease of doing business in Nigeria in the short, medium and long-term perspectives.

“In addition to enhancing ease of doing business in Nigeria, efforts should be made to harness the country’s human and natural resources for national development. What is needed at this stage of Nigeria’s development is a collective effort of all actors, in particular the public and private partnership strongly promoted by the nation’s vision. The public and private sectors need to work together more than ever before.

“Furthermore, smarter regulations aimed at creating a balance between the need to facilitate the activities of the private sector, while providing adequate safeguards for the interest of consumers and other social groups are recommended over more regulations.”

Bakole stressed the need for the government to implement holistic reforms in order improve Nigeria’s current ease of doing business ranking.

He explained, “The Doing Business Report 2017 recorded two areas where Nigeria made some positive achievements. First, Nigeria made starting a business easier by improving online government portals. This reform applies to both Kano and Lagos. Second is that Nigeria strengthened access to credit by creating a centralised collateral registry. This reform also applies to both Kano and Lagos.  While these reforms are highly commended, much still have to be done.

“For instance, Nigeria was ranked 138th position on starting a business, meaning that the improved online portals can be further enhanced for greater effectiveness and efficiency. The 169th ranking position on ease of doing business also shows that it takes a multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral approach to promote the business climate of a country.

“This also means that the government’s reforms must be holistic in outlook in line with the performance measures for other countries in order to achieve the expected good result of doing business.”

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