• Thursday, June 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Ex-commissioner blames market associations for Edo’s poor rating on ease of doing business

png_20231119_151408_0000

Afishetu Braimoh, immediate past Edo State Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, has attributed the low rating of the state on Ease of Doing Business performance in the country to the activities of commodity brokers and various traders’ associations.

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) charged with the responsibilities of conducting and publishing reports of the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja Ease of Doing Business had in 2021 and 2023 ranked Edo State 34th and 37th positions respectively.

The PEBEC had assessed each state and FCT in six key indicators crucial for business success in Nigeria to include infrastructure, secure and stable environment, transparency and accessibility of information, regulatory environment, skills and labour, and economic opportunities.

Read also: Obaseki restates support for MSMEs’ growth

In 2021 report, Edo State was ranked 34th having scored 4.38 points while in 2023 it came 37th position with the same scored of 4.38 points.

However, Afie Braimoh, a keynote speaker at the Inspire Edo 2023 Summit organised by Edo Development Organisation in partnership with John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) identified commodity brokers and traders’ associations as major obstacles mitigating against ease of doing business in the state.

The Inspire Edo 2023 Summit has in its theme, ‘Doing Business in Edo: The Challenges and How to Overcome Them.’

The Edo State former commissioner who is the now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SACFruits and Special Adviser, Africa Business Trade, noted that the only way to improve on the ranking was for the state government to break the monopolistic roles of the two market groups.

She opined that if the state government failed to address the activities of the commodity brokers and traders’ associations, the much-talked ease of doing business in the state would be a mirage.

“The two powerful bodies which are commodity brokers and traders’ associations have constituted the major obstacle to the ease of doing business as well as the high cost of commodity prices.

“The commodity brokers, the majority of whom are non-farmers, have formed a powerful union to dictate commodity prices to the real farmers.

“Even foreign investors are scared of buying from them as a result of the inflated cost of doing so. It is only the state government that can curb their nefarious activities as the
final consumers are the ultimate losers of the intricate game,” she said.

She urged the state government to devise ways of curbing the enormous powers exerted on commodity prices and the ease of doing business by the two bodies.

Read also: Food inflation surges despite drop in global commodity prices

Braimoh, who recently signed a vendor agreement to place made-in-Nigeria products in large stores and also in partnership with Ancestral to foster African trade without pressure on the dollar, expressed fears that if the unions were not checkmated, made-in-Edo products would continue to struggle in the global Market.

The CEO, SACFruits and Special Adviser, Africa Business Trade said, in a recent meeting between buyer and seller of Edo export group and a buyer from Miami who went away with the first ever container shipment of proudly Edo products to the United States, failed to continue with the deal because the prices from Edo State was three times higher than the prices they used to buy the same products from commodity brokers in Lagos state.

Earlier, Joy Daniels, President, Edo Development Organisation, said the major objective of the group was to encourage Edo people to invest in the state.