The Executive Chairperson of Still Earth Holdings, Oyindamola Adeyemi, has urged the incoming administration to as a matter of urgency, formulate and implement sound pro-business policies to put the nation’s economy back on track.
She explained that the incentives that promote an enabling environment for businesses to thrive should be prioritised to take the Nigerian economy out of doldrums.
Speaking at The Economist’s The World Ahead 2023 event, Adeyemi in her address, touched on the resilience of the Nigerian economy, as demonstrated by a moderate Gross Domestic Product (GDP), propelled by the improved performance of non-oil sectors such as agriculture, the service industry, and construction industry.
She however pointed out that the economy was yet to achieve the expected bounce-back rate primarily due to inflation and other disruptions in the economy, including the contraction of the oil and gas sector resulting from low output.
“The Nigerian economy has remained resilient with moderate GDP growth post-pandemic period, albeit below expectation with a spiraling inflationary rate. The non-oil sectors have continued to contribute positively, driven by agriculture, service industries, and construction while oil and gas contracted due to low outputs,” Adeyemi said.
She also expressed optimism that Nigeria’s economy could experience a stronger rebound after the election and is advocating for the formulation and implementation of the right policies.
She expressed confidence in the role of Still Earth Holdings in contributing to the country’s post-election economic growth while emphasising that the group, with its diversified portfolios in construction, oil and gas, and finance, is uniquely positioned to drive the national economy forward.
Through innovative solutions that promote resilience and sustainability, the group continues to support businesses and enterprises in various segments, positively impacting the economy.
While highlighting Still Earth Holdings’ contributions to the petroleum and energy sectors, Adeyemi explained the critical role of the subsidiary, Tirex Petroleum and Energy, in providing cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions that enhance the efficiency of local oil exploration and production processes, ultimately boosting Nigeria’s global competitiveness in the sector.
Moreover, Still Earth Capital Finance has been at the forefront of promoting financial inclusion and driving economic growth in Nigeria.
She said the company had been supporting the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by providing them with access to credit facilities that enable them to expand their businesses and generate income.
She also emphasised in her address that Still Earth Capital Finance remained committed to crafting innovative and tailor-made financial products that meet the unique needs of its clients, ensuring that they have access to an improved quality of life.
Adeyemi stressed the importance of infrastructure, stating that in order to build a resilient framework for an economic development, Nigeria will need to consider the centrality of adequate infrastructure development.
She highlighted the opportunities in this area and noted that Still Earth Construction and Realty has been a leading force in promoting eco-friendly and sustainable materials to reduce the carbon footprint of its projects, pointing out that the company’s commitment to quality and sustainability has earned a reputation as one of Nigeria’s top construction firms, and its contributions to the economy are significant.
Adeyemi went on in her address to stress the importance of a growth-oriented mindset among policymakers and private sector players to attract local and international investors to Nigeria and increase the risk appetite of the business sector.
She advocated for increased funding for MSMEs, especially for women to accelerate growth, which she believes is the engine of socio-economic development and job creation.
According to her, “As a female-led Nigerian success story, I believe Still Earth Holdings is an indicator of what women can achieve. More women can contribute significantly to the country and continent development with suitable investment and equitable opportunities for females and female-led MSMEs.”
She also noted that inadequate infrastructure, limited access to credit, insecurity, foreign exchange shortages, low foreign direct investment, and climate change, were critical factors that must be addressed by the incoming government, saying that these issues require urgent attention to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and contribute significantly to the country’s economic development.