91 total views, 2 views today
Stakeholders in Nigeria’s private and public business sectors say that the current value system of our economy is a hindrance to speedy growth and therefore needs a total re-orientation for impactful change and economic development.
This was the general consensus of experts at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Corporate Services Conference organised by TenticP communications which held in Lagos on Thursday 2nd of May 2019.
“We need a total re-orientation of our value system in Nigeria. We place value on the most irrelevant things right now, but the moment we start to focus on the more important things, we will definitely see a steady growing economy,” Afolabi Sofola, chairman, Kosofe Local Government said.
Muda Yusuf, director general, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in his keynote address said it was time to walk the talk, as writing down ethics and code of conducts on pieces of paper would not necessarily translate into delivery of quality services.
“We must commit to abiding by established rules, regulations and codes of conduct in our corporate and public endeavours; we must make doing things right our national priority. We need to change our mind-set from the entitlement-based to a service focus,” Yusuf said.
Speaking on the theme, “Building a sustainable economic growth through corporate services delivery,” Yusuf said that professionalism in the public and corporate world should be promoted and deterrent sanctions should be given to unethical and unprofessional conduct.
“We all know that in Nigeria, those who do the right things suffer the most. The ones paying duties at the ports are the ones that will face the most headaches with customs and running an ethical business in this country can be very challenging. This is especially as we have a very weak judicial system and seeking redress can be exhausting,” he said.
Babatunde Fowler, chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) said that automation and technology in tax payment systems is helping Nigeria build sustainable economic growth.
“Things like the e-receipts, e-tax clearance certificates and the automated VAT collection that we want to do in key sectors will help build sustainable economic growth. Already, states like Lagos, Kano, Edo, Kaduna and Akwa-Ibom are doing very well business wise because of internally generated revenue from tax proceeds and we can see how well businesses are doing in those states in the ease of doing business ranking,” Fowler said.
He said although Nigeria has a low tax-to-GDP ratio, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) states that a 15 percent minimum threshold is associated with significant acceleration of growth and development, while Nigeria is currently at nine percent, the country working towards achieving double figures in tax-to-GDP ratio in the near future.
Isa Ali Pantami, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), who was represented by Jimoh Falilat Olaitan during the panel session, said that the government agency was focused on using ICT which is a major contributor to Nigeria’s GDP, to ensure sustainable economic growth.
“NITDA developed a strategic roadmap for the IT sector that is aimed at transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based society. The seven key pillars of our roadmap are IT regulation, capacity building, digital inclusion, digital job creation, government digital service promotion, local content development and promotion and cyber security. With investment and concentration in these areas, especially at a time when there is digital revolution, the country is bound to see sustainable economic growth,” he said.