Management experts on Monday at the ongoing Annual National Management Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management laid out various policy frameworks and practical steps the government can take to give entrepreneurs and small businesses the boost they need and generate economic growth.
The experts, who delivered various presentations centered on the general theme of this year’s conference, “Public Policy Management and Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria”, emphasized the need for urgent policy reviews and the implementation of regulatory measures with effective enforcement mechanisms through constant monitoring and evaluation.
In her welcoming address, the acting President of the Institute, Dr. (Ms.) Christiana Atako that this year’s conference was accomplished “when the institute came to the sad realization that one of the main reasons why the country’s economy has not made significant progress over the years is the scant attention paid to the introduction of appropriate public policies, that drive the development of entrepreneurship.”
She pointed out that “Entrepreneurship can be fostered through efforts ranging from specific targeted support such as technical assistance for small businesses to general macro measures aimed at maintaining a stable business environment. However, it should be noted that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) policy does not go hand in hand with entrepreneurship policy. Small and medium-sized enterprise policy includes measures specifically aimed at supporting SMEs (including self-employment) which can be justified for several reasons. This policy approach typically involves the creation of specific government agencies to support SMEs through a range of support programs and small business subsidies.”
Fundquest Financial Services Chief Executive Officer Mr Bisi Oni, keynote speaker, lamented the miserable attention entrepreneurs receive from government at all levels despite being a huge employer of labor and contributing nearly half of Nigeria’s gross domestic product.
Stressing the need for the business environment in the country, Oni noted that doing business in Nigeria is still poor and disadvantageous for small businesses. Access to credit facilities, low lending rates, easy business registration and a smooth tax payment system are some of the measures that can boost small business growth, he noted.
“Business-friendly public policies correlate with lower poverty rates at the business level. The way to fight poverty is through business creation, both as a source of new jobs and as an expression of thriving entrepreneurship,” he said.
In another presentation, Habu Mohammed, a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science at Bayero University in Kano, explained that the business environment is dynamic and influenced by both internal and external factors.
“Essentially what makes companies successful in this environment is the ability of the public authority to take regulatory action with effective enforcement mechanisms through constant monitoring and assessment.
“Administrative problems such as bureaucracy, corruption and political inconsistency can best be addressed where good governance is at the heart of political issues. There is also a need to address the key infrastructure challenge, particularly the epileptic power supply, to halt the exodus of manufacturing industries from the country,” Mohammed noted.
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