The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has called for increased partnership between the public and private sectors in order to significantly improve the country’s business climate.
The UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, made the call while delivering a keynote address on “Enhancing Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria: An Impetus to Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth”, during a recent meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), in Abeokuta.
While commending the on-going efforts of the Federal Government towards improving the country’s business climate, the UNIDO Head in Nigeria noted that an enhanced business environment was critical for achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development.
Bakole stressed the need for the government to implement holistic reforms in order improve Nigeria’s current ease of doing business ranking. 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 paths of getting out of recession. In this regard, UNIDO would like to commend the work of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) 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.”
He added: “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.
“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 centralized collateral registry. This reform also applies to both Kano and Lagos. While these reforms are highly commended, much still have to be done.
He noted that the ease of doing business ranking is anchored on fostering public-private partnership as the private sector is considered as the engine of growth while the public sector creates the necessary and conducive environment for the former to thrive in view of the competitive atmosphere and the benefits the Ease of Doing Business ranking confer.He disclosed that UNIDO would strengthen its existing partnership with the Organised Private Sector in Nigeria for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development.