By Victor Young
Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, yesterday, charged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his second term in office to reverse the negative economic trends in the country as well as focus on completion of major infrastructural projects.
The charge was contained in a statement signed by NECA’s Director-General, Mr.Timothy Olawale, which noted that the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term had many implications for business in the country
NECA stated: “The Presidential election has been won and lost and we believe it is time to put aside politics and let governance take centre stage. Having followed keenly the thrust of President Buhari-led administration, we do not expect any deviation from the administration’s policies. Many surprises are not expected judging by the direction of the current administration since its inception, hence, we expect to see more of policy stability.
“We expect the completion of major infrastructural projects all over the country. We are also witnessing a steady progress in the Export Expansion Grant, which supports exporters in the expansion of their businesses. We expect the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to step up the implementation of its mandate and the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business policy. We, however, hope that the passage and implementation of the 2019 budget will be given due attention as we are already in the 3rd month of our fiscal year, not forgetting that several business decisions are tied to the passage of the budget.
“The federal government has shown a sustained commitment to the implementation of the Economic Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP) and we expect this to continue.
“We expect continuous stability of different economic policies, continued focus on the different social investment programmes which are deemed pro-poor and sustenance or deepening of the government’s engagement with the private sector through the quarterly Presidential Forum amongst others.
Olawale, however, expressed the concerns of business owners on the worrisome trend in the first four years of the administration, with regards to regulatory agencies.
“The regulatory gangsterism reached a new height in the first four years of the administration. As the president was making efforts to ease the challenges of doing business in Nigeria, some regulatory agencies were stifling businesses, discouraging entrepreneurial propensity of small and medium scale entities and inadvertently creating the environment for job losses. The president must ensure that this trend is brought to a stop. A collaborative engagement of the private sector and creation of an environment for it to thrive is the only panacea to the raging threat of unemployment in our nation.
“This government has another four years opportunity to reverse the negative trends and prognosis associated with the nation in the last four years. Concerted efforts must be made to revive moribund industries, support struggling enterprises, create a responsible regulatory regime and focus on inclusive growth for the rapid development of our nation,” he stated.