Obinna Chima

The Chief Executive Officer, TGI Group of Companies, Christian Wessel, has advised the federal government to increase its focus on the education sector in its bid to drive local production.

According to Wessel, if Nigeria actually believes that supporting local production is the way to go, governments at all levels must drive education.

He said this at the Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria’s (RMB) yearly economic breakfast meeting held in Lagos on Monday.

Wessel further pointed that encouraging the local manufacturers all over the world goes along with renewed efforts to develop the education sectors.

“Nigeria has over the last years collapsed actually in the Ease of Doing Business. But i was pleased that the Minister of Trade and Investment recently said improving the Ease of Doing Business is one of his priorities. I don’t believe that it is only foreign exchange scarcity that is Nigeria’s problem.

“I also believe the cost and time that it takes to establish and run a business has negative impacts on domestic production. There are smaller countries in Africa that have improved Ease of Doing Business. In Nigeria, both public and private sectors also need to increase efficiency. Everything here seems to be difficult, things are time are time consuming and resource allocation is so inconsistent,” Wessel added.

In his contribution, the Chief Executive Officer and Regional Head, West Africa, RMB, Mr. Michael Larbie, urged government to develop a roadmap that would help address infrastructure challenges across all sectors in the country.

“We need structural changes in our institutions and ministries. It is important that performance scorecard is established for various ministries. It is also important that feedback or monitoring mechanism is implemented.

“For instance, the works department is responsible for registering companies, and there should be a target or quota like how many companies they supposed to register within a period of time.

“If somebody submits documentation for registration, how long should you turn it around? We need to give ourselves standard. We need to set targets and ensure we meet up to the target. If it’s two weeks and if after two weeks, it has not being done, there should be a good explanation,” Larbie added.

Also, the Managing Director, Grame Blaque Advisory, Zeal Akaraiwe called for a long-term economic plan to help address Nigeria’s challenges, even as he cited the challenges posed by foreign exchange scarcity in the country.