Members of the Community Business Assembly (CBA) in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State have called on the relevant authorities to build more infrastructures, provide potable water and establish industrial parks that will accelerate the process of improving and reducing the overall risks faced by businesses in the council.
The call was made by participants and contained in a communiqué issued after the inaugural Community Business Assembly held at Alimosho LG Secretariat for Alimosho Cluster of LGs recently.
The CBA in Lagos state held for business owners in Alimosho Cluster (i.e. Alimosho LG and its 5 LCDAs – Egbe Idimu, Ayobo Ipaja, Agbada Oke Odo, Mosan Okunola and Ikotun), discussed matters germane to improving the ease of doing business in the cluster.
Participants observed that the forum, an initiative of the Lagos State government backed by UK AID-GEMS3, enabled the private sector business operators to discuss with government officials challenges faced by businesses and explored possible policy initiatives that can enhance the business environment, leading to business growth, improved employment rate and increased prosperity of the community.
They commended the Office of the Special Adviser on Communities and Communications in implementing the initiative in collaboration with the Ministries of Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Wealth Creation & Employment and of Finance.
Similarly, they praised UK-AID GEMS3 efforts in strongly supporting various initiatives aimed at making the environment conducive to business through its tax harmonisation and public-private engagement initiatives.
The event was attended by top level government officials including the SA to the Governor on Community and Communications, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan; the SA to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Hon Kehinde Joseph; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mr. Akodu; Mr. Thompson-John, the representative of the Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Mrs. Anne Momodu of the Ministry of Finance, Hon. Tajudeen Adigun who represented the Chairman of Sole Administrators and the sole administrators of six LCDAs.
There were also contributions from private sector organisations including National Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME), Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), First Bank of Nigeria PLC, National Association of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists (NASHCO), Lagos Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association (LABHCA), Lagos State Tailors and Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (LASFADAN), Lagos State Barbers Association (LASBA), Progressive Association of Hairdressers and Beautician Barbers (PROHAB), Hoteliers Association, Lagos Cooked Food Association, Lagos State Aluminum Fabricators Association (LASAFA), and Lagos State Fruit Sellers Association
The participants urged the local governments to individually and collectively adopt the following measures and implement the following policies towards adding value to the business community: and to develop, organise and employ means to sustain the Community Business Assembly as a public-private engagement platform for reducing tension between the private sector and local governments.
They also enjoined the councils to address the perennial issues of multiple taxation evident in the collection of business premises levy, corporate parking permit fees and environmental sanitation fees from businesses in general and banks in particular by both state and local governments; and on provision of tools for artisans at cheap and affordable prices.
They sought the introduction of liberal rates and taxes regime to enable private schools sustain the essential educational service in support of the government’s drive to ensure education for all, and for the councils to enforce compliance with the Local Government Levies Law 2010 and outlaw other levies that are inconsistent with the law
Participants urged the LGAs to empower the information and complaints officers to receive complaints on assessment and ensure rapid resolution of complaints; build more infrastructures, provide potable water and establish industrial parks that will accelerate the process of getting businesses up and running and reduce the overall risks faced by businesses; and enhance access to market for products of the small and medium scale businesses by providing MSME spaces in local governments.
The councils were also urged to support businesses by providing information on investment opportunities, help with land acquisition for investment and general business advisory services; patronise local products and entrepreneurs to give indigenous companies greater share of economic activities; enforce issuance of receipts for transactions with the local government, and support traders of perishable goods with preservation facilities
They were also enjoined to provide soft loans to enable small and medium scale entrepreneurs employ more people to and produce more goods and services; mitigate inconveniences caused businesses by civil works by providing alternative routes and improving security, and set up the Alimosho CBA Committee with the secretariat at the Alimosho Local Government to include representatives of the various business associations/sectors and also the sole administrators of the relevant LG/LCDAs.