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OPS seeks role in policy design for improved economy



Dissatisfied with consistent failure of government’s policies to deliver the expected growth and the negative impact on national economy and businesses, the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) will be seeking to liaise with influencer groups to push policy documents they believe will reset the economy if implemented by a new government expected to take power from May 29, 2023.

Among the influencers the OPSN is considering the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), lobby groups, and civil societies.

Their lobbying will be driven by proven data, facts and figures that show challenges in critical sectors of the economy and how they can be overcome to turn the economy around.

The OPSN, comprising Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association for Small & Medium Enterprise (NASME), National Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA) and National Association of Small-Scale Industrialist (NASSI), indicated on Tuesday.

They spoke at a roundtable dialogue organised in collaboration with the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)/ National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a USA-based democracy and enterprise promotion organisation, in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic headquarters, where they also presented a policy document titled, “OPSN policy priorities for political parties in Nigeria”.

“In every democracy, including the advanced countries, there is lobbying. What is missing in our case in Nigeria is that whenever we talk about lobbying, people think of corruption. But there’s no way we can continue without having a voice in government. So, what we plan this time is to have lobby groups in the National Assembly, for example, so that any time policy affecting the private sector is considered, we can mobilise and push our position. One such group is the Governor’s Forum,” Taiwo Adeniyi, president of NECA, told BusinessDay.

Read also: Elections: OPS set for dialogue with political parties on economic policies, Tuesday

According to Adeniyi, Nigeria appears to be stuck in the past, utilising ideas that do not correspond with the empirical reality of its current economic state. Macroeconomic stability, he said, can be achieved through a well laid down strategy and plan. “We will leverage data and facts to push our position”, he said.

The private sector group, in the policy document, believes that a new government in Nigeria must commit to put the economy on the path of growth by eliminating multiple taxes and levies and corrupt practices, upscaling electricity generation to at least 100,000MW, ensuring economic decisions are data-driven, structural reform of fiscal monetary policies for enterprise, address inadequate supply of forex, improve access to long-term funding and patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods local content development.

They also expect a new administration to encourage public-private sector partnership (PPP), set performance measurement for MDAS, promote sector-wide incentives, improve healthcare delivery, strengthen youth employment, promote women in agriculture and eliminate gender biases and all forms of discrimination.

At the event, Lola Adekanye, country director, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), said the private sector was a strong ally in any vibrant democracy around the world and urged the OPSN not to relent in pushing their position through in government.

Also speaking, Damon Wilson, president of NED, a US-based organisation, said there can’t be a strong democracy without a strong economic base. He said the organised private sector must demand from the government the change they want to see in Nigeria, and should leverage past successes to push for new economic frontiers.

Francis Meshioye, president of MAN, in his contribution, stressed the need for the alignment of policy objectives of the government and private sector in the overall national economy.

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