Emmanuel Excel Ogbeide is a renowned international business development consultant with over twenty years experience in both private and public sector consulting.
He is also a consultant to the Nigerian-Lithuanian Business Council, a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) of Public Speakers Association of Nigeria. As a trainer, he has conducted training sessions in various parts of the world including United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Cameroun, Togo, Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, India and China.
In this interview with Saturday Vanguard Business, he states the benefits of Nigerian-Lithuanian bilateral relationship. Excerpts:
As the CEO, Business Builders Limited, How do you promote International Trade in Nigeria?
As Business Builders, we consult for, train and assist small and medium scale business enterprises to access loan facilities for business start up and growth.
We also have a platform where investors and entrepreneurs meet for mutual benefit. We render business consulting and management consulting services to enhance business growth in Nigeria, amongst others. We also encourage foreign organizations to set up businesses in Nigeria.
On international trade, BusinessBuilders Limited as an independent consultant, consults for and helps foreign organizations to develop cordial international business relationships with Nigerian counterparts, as well as ensuring fraud-free international business by offering industry players reliable information from government agencies and other credible sources.
We assist local and foreign enterprises to identify opportunities, customers, suppliers, and manufacturers through dispatching trade missions abroad, hosting foreign business missions, organising business meetings, seminars and conferences for Nigerian and foreign enterprises.
We also assist Nigerian and foreign enterprises in the organisation/participation in trade fairs and exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad.
How does Nigeria benefit from your services?
We run a small business development centre where we encourage small business start-ups and growth across all sectors of the economy. We also resuscitate businesses that are not doing well.
Through our training, mentoring and support programmes, we open up opportunities for rural industrialisation, poverty reduction, job creation and enhanced livelihood. Furthermore, we assist entrepreneurs gain access to sources of finance, appropriate technology, technical skills and win-win partnership to help them succeed.
We assist local and foreign enterprises to identify opportunities, customers, suppliers and manufacturers in Nigeria through organising business meetings, seminars and conferences for Nigerian and foreign enterprises. We assist Nigerian and foreign enterprises in the organisation/ participation in trade fairs and exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad.
We also train local enterprises and trade support institutions in trade promotion and export marketing. We provide consultancy services and technical assistance in trade and export promotions. We develop e-commerce capabilities among Nigerian business community.
We support foreign enterprises to register and develop businesses in Nigeria. We develop facilities for trade promotions.
We offer high level strategic government advisory services as well as capacity building programmes that enable government and private sector stakeholders to deliver meaningful interventions in areas such as the development of enterprise support services, job creation, women and youth empowerment and related needs in Nigeria.
What are the current challenges in the industry?
Security is a major challenge in Nigeria, and all Nigerians should get involved in helping to improve the state of security.
It has affected the inflow of foreign direct investments, because investors want to put their money in a safe place. Even though many foreign investors see potentials in Nigeria, they also need to be sure of their safety before they invest here.
The current state of insecurity in the country is very worrisome coupled with unstable and harsh government policies, regulations and multiple taxes which are not favourable to the overall well being of entrepreneurs and investors in the international business development industry within the Nigerian context. And we do hope that government will apply the best methods to address the situation.
As the director of trade in the Market Leaders Association of Nigeria, I have seen cases where a market is pulled down by fire and government intervention will be rather too slow. This is very discouraging. How do we encourage foreign investors to come when we cannot rely on government for fast action in case of emergency?
Difficulty in accessing loan facilities is also a challenge to many. Also, low level of education of business people makes it challenging to communicate with partners. Even when financial institutions make funds available to them, it’s usually based on terms and conditions that are naturally detrimental to the well being of their businesses. So at the end of the day, they run into debt.
Unstable power is another great factor in the decline in local business and foreign direct investment.
What recommendations do you have for the government?
Nigerian government should embark on more economic restructuring and job creation programmes for the Nigerian people, without any geographical or religious bias.
Government needs to understand that SMEs could grow to become multinationals and create more jobs for the Nigerian people. Hence, putting in place friendly policies and enabling environment that powers growth and development in the SME sector is a worthwhile investment which the government should look into.