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NigeriaDecides2023

Stakeholders advocate collaborative regulatory environment for industrial development

Industry stakeholders have urged government regulatory agencies to de-emphasise revenue generation and focus more on enterprise facilitation in a bid to ensure industrial and national development.

This call was made by a panel of discussants during the recently concluded Nigeria Employers Summit 2020 themed ‘The Private Sector as Engine for National Development’. The summit, which was organised by the Nigeria Employer Consultative Association (NECA), held in Abuja, on June 20 and 21, 2022.

Setting the tone for the panel discussion on the topic ‘Building a Collaborative Regulatory Environment for Enterprise Competitiveness, Job Creation and National Development’, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, director-general, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said that the duty of the regulator was not only ensuring that manufacturers do not exploit consumers or take undue advantage of them but to also protect the regulated industries.

“It is also the duty of the regulator to ensure that we have a situation whereby the industry player feels very safe, is legally protected, its assets and investments are secure, and is guaranteed survival. The people also must be protected from manipulation and unfair treatment by the industry,” he said.

He further said that the regulator must also see to the longtime interest of the industry, noting that paucity of funds by government to maintain regulatory agencies is often responsible for the aggressive and inordinate internal revenue drive.

Delivering a policy paper at the session, Lamido Yuguda, director-general, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), represented by the Executive Director of Corporate Services, SEC, Ibrahim Boye, said that the SEC has continued to strive to fulfil its mandate in creating an enabling environment for market operations.

Also, in an address at the session, the External Affairs Director, BAT West and Central Africa, OdiriErewa-Meggison, lauded NECA and MAN for effective representation of the private sector, while calling for greater collaborative regulatory environment between the organised private sector and government agencies.

“A collaborative regulatory environment means creating the enabling environment for the organised private sector and government agencies to work together for national development. This involves having a seat at the table when key decisions that impact our industries are being made,” she said.

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While commending the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Federal Consumer and Competition Council (FCCPC), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others, for trade facilitation, Erewa-Meggison also urged government to demonstrate the “willingness to work with private sector players to collaborate in establishing sustainable regulatory frameworks that will secure current investment in the country and create additional investment opportunities that will benefit our economy.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the President Nigeria, NECA, Taiwo Adeniyi, said that the inaugural summit will serve as a credible national platform on which the nexus between a healthy private sector and sustained national inclusive growth will be predicated with focus on promoting enterprise development as a major source of national growth.

In another panel session titled, ‘Deepening Fiscal and Monetary Policies for Enterprise Growth: Imperative for a Collaborative Growth-focused Engagement’ discussants, including the CEO, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Muda Yusuf, and Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, underscored the importance of policy in the investment environment, noting that employment creation, which is expected to be driven by the private sector, can only be achieved in a conducive policy environment. They noted that, apart from infrastructure, fiscal and monetary policies are at the centre of an enabling environment for business.