PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, consulting firm in Lagos hosted a debate tagged: The Africa Business Agenda with leading Nigerian CEOs to address key challenges and opportunities facing the Nigerian business environment.
The forum moderated by Mr. Nn’emeka Maduegbuna of C&F Porter Novelli and Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of Business Day Newspapers also discussed the result of a PwC survey which showed that over 90 per cent of Nigerian CEOs are optimistic that their business revenues will grow in 2011 and beyond. The Managing Partner of PwC, Mr. Ken Igbokwe, said the session was a way of highlighting the issues at hand with regard to the challenges facing businesses in the country and on another hand explores available business opportunities.
According to him “There is a need to drill down into some of the issues facing the growth of the Nigerian economy.” The panel consisting of top CEOs and company executives including Mr. Chima Ibeneche of NLNG (Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas), Mrs Ibikun Awosika, MD/CEO of Sokoa Chair Centre, Mr. Larry Etta, CEO of UAC and Mr. Chris Okeke of Nigeria Starch Mills, raised a number of core concerns. One reoccurring theme was government’s ineffectiveness. “Inconsistency in government policies is a major challenge to growth in Nigeria. The stability of these policies are uncertain and no CEO can make decisions or run a business on uncertainties,” said Chima Ibeneche, Managing Director of NLNG.
While noting that the ultimate responsibility for education lies with government, Ibukun Awosika, CEO of SOKOA Chair Centre offered an interim solution from the private sector. “We need to develop talent by taking up a collective approach rather than an individual approach to tackling these issues. There is an abundance of talent in this country. We only need to find the right tools to develop it,” she noted.