Stakeholders have urged the Federal Government to open up the private sector if Nigeria is to catch up with the rest of the world.
The stakeholders spoke during the W’Bank country director, NBA ask FG to Strengthen Private Sector Partnership Section on Business Law’s 17th Annual International Business Law Conference 2023, which was held in Lagos and with the theme “The Nigerian Business Landscape: Priorities for Law, Policy, and Regulation.
Dr. Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, delivered the keynote address at the conference and traced the development index of Nigeria and Indonesia, noting that Nigeria lost its advantages over the Asian Tigers because the country failed to develop its private sector.
He added that no nation had been able to develop without the private sector contributing at least 80 per cent to its gross domestic product. Chaudhuri further said that the World Bank was working with both the federal and state governments to improve the nation’s statistics on private-sector involvement.
He said, “We are developing our members and shareholders in 189 countries around the world and Nigeria is one of the countries. Our basic mission is to help our members eliminate extreme poverty and make life better for all citizens. We provide concessional financing in support of government programmes.
“Since I arrived in Nigeria in September 2019, between 2019 and June 2023, our board approved about 10 and a half million dollars in concession line financing for the Nigerian government’s development programmes, basically to eliminate poverty and promote a better future.
“Beyond concessional financing, what I aspire to do, is to be seen as a trusted partner here to help not just with financing but with ideas, analysis, and sharing experiences from other countries around the world.’’
Also speaking at the event, Chairman, (NBA SBL), Dr. Adeoye Adefulu, said the 2023 NBA-SBL Annual Conference was setting the agenda for the President Bola Tinubu administration in critical areas of law policies and regulations needed urgently to enhance economic growth and create jobs.
Adefulu listed the areas such as startups, Artificial Intelligence, agriculture, and energy transactions, among other areas pivotal to the new administration’s reforms, stressing on government prioritising laws and regulations needed to sharpen its policies.
He stated that the NBA-SBL past conferences had been impacting key issues such as the Companies and Allied Matters Act, and Petroleum Industry Act, among others to aid the government in decision-making.
He said, “Beyond the conference, our work is to ensure the regulatory works best for investors. We work with different regulatory institutions regularly, helping them sharpen the laws those regulations are based upon.
“The dynamism in the growing population must be reflected in the way our National Assemble and regulators pass law. When they pass the law, it is not enough to pass but implement it and regulate it in such a way there will be an inflow of businesses into the country. We have to keep the young generation engaged and we can only do that by improving the business environment for the Nigerian economy to grow.”