The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)-Mr Babatunde Runwase, at the weekend in Lagos, said clement environment is key to enable small scale enterprises to develop if government is serious about boosting the economy.
Government at all levels must also avoid distractions and focus on how to ensure a strong economy as a matter of first priority, Runwase also said.
Speaking as a Special Guest at the2018 Public Lecture of the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN), Runwase said it is indeed lamentable that Nigeria belonged to the list of countries endowed with abundant natural resources but yet remained underdeveloped and poor.
The LCCI boss blamed the nation’s poverty status on the inability of successive administrations to halt the country’s undue dependence on crude oil- a blessing which he said had turned out to be the nation’s undoing. This reality, he stressed, underscored the need for economic diversification, development of the nation’s human resources and promotion of the culture of enterprise. “This is the way to ensure an economic progress that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable”, Runwase insisted.
Insisting on a strong economy, he said this could be achieved by ensuring an enabling environment to entrepreneurs and supporting them with appropriate policies and initiatives.
The President emphasized: “Entrepreneurs and professionals constitute an invaluable asset to any economy. The way forward for our economy is to do everything possible to encourage entrepreneurs and professionals. This is the way to go if we must diversify our economy, create more jobs, reduce unemployment, minimize criminality and, above all, advance the welfare of our people”.
He added: “For these to happen, we should create the right environment for business to thrive. We should tackle the problems of infrastructure, the quality of public institutions, ensure an investment friendly financial system and foster the right policy environment”.
Runwase also emphasized: “It is the entrepreneur that makes things happen in an economy. They are the drivers of the economy and the creators of wealth. An economy can only be as robust as its entrepreneurs. Therefore, if we must make progress in this economy, our private sector would have to play a major role. The public sector would also have to create the enabling environment”.