The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) yesterday resounded the alarm over the damage to investor confidence and Foreign Direct Investment flow being done by the security problems in the country.
Troubled by the elevated rate of violent crimes and inseurity, LCCI stressed the need for Nigeria to address the challenge speedily to make the business environment more secure in order to attract FDIs while also increasing investors’ confidence in the economy.
The President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, who made the comment in Lagos, said security of life and property is a very critical factor in the investment environment, urging managers of the Nigerian economy to as a matter of urgency prioritise developmental efforts in addressing the security situation in the country. Akande during a dialogue session organised by the chamber tagged: ‘The security meets business,’ said in recent years, the country has been grappling with security issues bordering on terrorism, religious and ethnic crisis, attacks on oil installations, kidnapping, armed robbery, attacks by herdsmen and the likes, warning that the impact of these security challenges on business is phenomenal.
She said not much investment activities are taking place in the north-eastern part of the country and also in some other parts of the country.
She pointed out that the oil and gas sector is facing serious challenges of attacks on oil installations and the effects have been very profound on the economy, saying that the attacks by herdsmen on farming communities across the country has a significant effect o agricultural activities.
“There is also a serious perception problem that the security phenomenon has created for Nigerian in the global community. There is no better time to look at the business dimension of the security problems than now,” she said.
She said the government has done a lot to curb the menace of insecurity in the country, adding that progress that has been made in restoring peace and normalcy to the North-east is particularly noteworthy and commendable.
Also speaking at the event, the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bukola Saraki, represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Dr. Sam Egwu, expressed concerns about Nigeria’s low ranking in the world on the ease of doing business, saying that as a result of this, the federal government has set up a technical committee to comprehensively review the institutional, regulatory and associated instruments affecting businesses in Nigeria.
He added that there are numbers of reform bills currently going on to jumpstart the Nigerian economy and strengthening Nigerian institutions, maintaining that this bill has the potentials to cut poverty and reducing unemployment by creating a friendly environment for investors and small and medium enterprises ( SMEs).
“The bill includes the public procurement Act ammendment bill which has already been passed by the senate. Other bills aimed at improving our transport networks and maintenance culture includes the private sector infrastructure replacement and protection bill.
He said it would require a collective approach for Nigeria to solve its insecurity challenges, saying that the federal government, civil society groups, business and organisations must fight insecurity so as to create an enabling environment where business organisations would feel free and secure to achieve their full potentials to ensure sustainable economic development
A representative of the Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral JKZ Ango, said insecurity would always exist where there is presence of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and hopelessness, saying these factors provide a fertile environment for recruiting thugs and vandals who are ready to engage in any form of birigandage for a pot of porridge.
He added that to sustain an environment conducive for the peaceful and prosperous conduct of business and industrial development, concerted efforts must be put in place for the education of the teeming population and job creation.
He noted that multinational enterprises must also examine their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to be responsive to the needs of the communities where they are located.