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Meltdown: Shonekan seeks incentives for firms

By Michael Eboh & Naomi Uzor

LAGOS—Following the effect of the global economic crisis on the Nigerian economy and businesses in the country, Chief Ernest Shonekan, has called on governments at all levels to introduce stimulus packages for industries, to boost their productivity and make them compete effectively with their counterpart in the global community.

Speaking at the 2009 annual lecture of the Nigerian-British Chamber and Commerce of Industry (NBCCI), in Lagos, Tuesday, Shonekan tasked the federal and state governments on the need to focus on the development of infrastructure as this will help to reduce the high cost of doing business in the country.

He said, “Nigerian policy makers can consider launching a stimulus package that can help shore up the nation’s economy.”

In particular, a stimulus package that has infrastructure as it focal point can only mean well for trade and investment in Nigeria.

It is fair to say that Nigeria faces the challenge of ensuring that the economy is competitive in terms of attracting local and foreign direct investment. The cost of doing business continues to sky-rocket as businesses have to provide power, water, transportation and other infrastructure directly.

The environment, simply put, needs to be supportive of business activities if we are to be able to boost trade and investment.”

He further stressed the need to diversify the nation’s economy, reducing the over-dependence on oil, calling for increased focus on developing other engines of growth for the economy that can drive exports and improve the country’s revenue.


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