Policy Briefs

The engine of any society is the organized private sector – Obaze

By Our Correspondent 

The fiscal and economic challenges confronting Nigeria continue to dominate the attention of Nigeria’s attentive public, along with a the entrenched debate on the restructuring on Nigeria. To help address these issues, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, a public policy expert and a frontline contender in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State, has advised the Federal Government to pay adequate attention to the role of organized private sector as a way of revamping Nigeria’s extremely stressed economy.  

Speaking at Awka, during the installation of the new President of Awka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Felly-Zontal Akosa, Obaze described the organized private sector “as the engine of any society.”

Obaze said the issue of recession and unemployment will abate if the organized private sector is offered the enabling environment and encouragement to operate and compete fairly in this 21st century global marketplace.

Relatedly, Obaze while appearing earlier on an interactive programme, One-on-One on Odenigbo FM Radio with on air personality Tony Olisa Mbeki, discussed fiscal and monetary issues confronting Nigeriadecried the proposal to run the 2017 budget until June 2018. “I’ve heard the explanation that the 2017 budget will stop running when the 2018 budget kicks in. That’s all well and good. Yet making the 2017 budget open-ended by implication means that the budget will stop running when the end users say so; not when the law says so.”

Obaze noted that “one way the federal government can boost the operations of the organized private sector is for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to revisit its foreign exchange policy. He called on state governments to lend their voice to the call to end the two-tier foreign exchange policy of the CBN”

Since the nation’s economy slipped into recession last year, the Federal Government has been working round the clock rejuvenate the economy. These efforts are yet to yield desired results as the nation is still visibly challenged by the trio of recession, inflation and high unemployment rate.

Obaze said “poor access to credit, inadequate capitalization, poor financial planning and review; poor market segmentation and/or strategy, lack of market knowledge, poor strategic vision, absence of a standard-quality programme; and underestimating the competitors are among the factors that lead to the failure of SMEs.” 

Furthermore Obaze said, “I’ve seen an alarming figure of the fail rate of SMEs in Nigeria being as high as 75%. Such business failure is mind boggling. SMEs are critical in that their contribute 55% of the GDP and 65% of employment; hence where the fail rate is high, the economy, and the people in turn suffer,” said Obaze.

He said the organized private sector “has the absorptive capacity to employ more, thus allowing a public sector that is trim, efficient and nimble. The government must therefore formulate and implement policies that will enable the organized private sector to flourish.”

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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