Presidency: FG Aligning Policies to Enhance Business Environment

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Jumoke Oduwole

Eromosele Abiodun and Nume Ekeghe

Following criticism of the federal government failure to align fiscal and monetary policies to help the public make better financial and economic decisions and make monetary policy more effective, the government yesterday announced that it was working assiduously to ensure alignment in the shortest time possible.

The Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, said this yesterday while featuring on ‘The Morning Show’ on ARISE TV, a sister company of THISDAY.

Also, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, who also featured on the programme, urged the government to create an enabling environment to encourage the private sector and create policies that would see the private sector come in to invest in infrastructure.

Speaking further, Oduwole commended the recent drive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in ensuring deposit money banks give businesses access to credit.

Oduwole said she’s optimistic that there are brighter days ahead as the fiscal and monetary policies would be more aligned.

According to her, “One of the biggest criticisms this administration has had is fiscal and monetary policies not quite aligning as they should, but that is being worked on and we hope to see better days ahead.”

Furthermore, she said the government was committed to ensuring the private sector thrives.

Oduwole said: “We need private sector to thrive and some of the private sectors have said some of the policies aren’t working for them and lack of clarity. We are working to fix that. There will be massive improvement very soon.

“The job of the government is to create an enabling environment and we are putting in place that enabling legislative and regulatory environment for businesses to thrive. It is on-going and we are taking notes.

“Private sector has largely expressed concern on the cost of capital and access to capital. That is why we are trying to make sure smaller business can use movable assets as collateral. The CBN has a moveable asset collateral registry to enhance access to credit. And with this, Nigeria has moved up in getting access to credit but then the private sector still needs more access and we are putting together that enabling, legislative and regulatory environment for businesses to thrive and grow.”

On his part, Ruwase urged the government to reduce the cost of governance and increase public private partnerships to drive infrastructure developments.

Specifically, he stated: “Government should give the private sector an enabling environment and the laws are very clear and we are ready to comply. We urge the government to give clarity on the rules and a level playing ground, because policy somersault is a hindrance to the private sector. If we can have all these in place, we would grow because more of the nation’s wealth is with the private sector.”

Speaking on infrastructure deficit and how the private sector can participate, he said: “There is an enormous resource with the private sector and the private sector would only come in if it’s sure of the rules and not someone changing the rules halfway. So, we need to have people pay for roads. For example the federal government can give a concession on a road project with private sector and users to pay accordingly.”