Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) former President Dr. Nike Akande has urged the Federal Government to ensure adequate power supply, saying it is important to the ease of doing business.
Mrs. Akande spoke at the 129th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the chamber held in Lagos.
Appraising the ease of doing business in the aftermath of the recession, Mrs. Akande said the recovery impact would only be appreciated when it reduces the cost of doing business, enhances the productivity of investors and boosts the competitiveness of firms and sustainability of investments.
“The provision of power remains at the heart of ease of doing business in Nigeria. We call on the government to sustain the current reforms in such critical sectors as power, agriculture, solid minerals and oil and gas,” she said.
Mrs. Akande commended the Economic Management Team and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council on its initiatives, saying it has become a platform for engagement between the government and private sector.
She, however, warned that the Council’s efforts might not translate to much, if inconsistent power supply persists.
She added that Executive Orders should be fully enforced to improve the way government does business to improve the business environment.
Presenting the LCCI yearly report, Mrs. Akande said the outgoing year was eventful in that it re-invigorated the potency of its public policy advocacy.
According to her, the Chamber held programmes, which drew the government’s attention to the worries of the business community.
Some of them, she said, is the presidential policy dialogue session, a policy dialogue on the power sector, business delegations and diplomatic visits, among others.
Mrs. Akande said despite that the economy appeared crippled by a weak revenue base, high-interest rates and security concerns in certain parts of the country, she was optimistic that opportunities for a rebound abound.
“Crude oil prices are beginning to recover, the foreign reserve is improving and inflation is on a steady decline. We are blessed with a huge market, abundant natural resources, and an enterprising population.
“As a chamber, we were consistent in our public advocacy and sustained our delivery of business development services to our members and the larger business community,” the former president said.
She added that increased patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods and services would not only encourage global competitiveness of indigenous manufacturers but also boost job creation.
She charged the chamber to continue to harp on sectorial advocacy.
Mrs. Akande said the chamber’s advocacy has enhanced the quality of organised private sector (OPS) contributions to nation’s economic policymaking.