The President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and IndustryÂ (LCCI), Mr Solomon Onafowokan, has urged the Federal Government to make business environment favourable for the private sector toÂ thrive.
Onafowokan said on Friday in Lagos at the opening ceremony of the 24th Lagos International Trade Fair that it was important to adopt policies that would enhance the competitiveness of the private sector.
â€œThe business of wealth creation is that of the private sector, the responsibility for equitable appropriation of wealth is that of government. It is the stance of policy and physical environment that would determine the magnitude of the wealth creation and the sustainability of the process.â€œThe quality of the investment climate is largely determined by the character of resources appropriation by government at all levels,â€ Onafowokan said.
He said that the first challenge for the nationâ€™â€™s economic transformation was to deal with the factors impeding the competitiveness of the private sector.He listed the factors to be poor power supply, multiple taxes, levies, corruption and deplorable state of the roads.The others, he said, were the high cost and limited access to funds, quality of economic governance and the dumping of substandard and fake products in the country.
According to Onafowokan, fake products have ruined most industries and led to the collapse of others.â€œIf we tackle theses constraints, we would encourage domestic investment, attract foreign capital and facilitate the realisation of the enormous potentials in the Nigerian economy,â€ he saidHe said that the theme of the fair -â€œTurning the global economic crisis into opportunitiesâ€, was chosen to underline the point that there could be opportunities even in crisis situation.
The Chairman of the LCCI Trade Promotion Board, Mr Goodie Ibru, said that structures and systems had been put in place to ensure regular power supply throughout the duration of the fair.He said that the structures included free movement within the fair arena, free flow of traffic, security of lives and property, including the provision of surveillance camera and directional signs.
Ibru said that he was confident that the exhibitors and visitors to the fair would get the full benefit of participating at the fair.In his goodwill message, the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Simon Okolo, said it was time for the nation to diversify its economy.
According to him, priority attention should be given to the real sector of the economy by the Federal Government instead of depending solely on crude oil. This would enable Nigeria to forestall the worst of international economic shocks,â€ he said.