(By Iheanyi Ezinwo) -The recent reported exit of Nigeria from recession has been commended as a welcome development but that hard work and a purposeful partnership between government at all levels and the private sector remain critical for Nigeria to fully exit recession.
This observation was made by Hon. Charles Beke, chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Rivers and Bayelsa states chapter while delivering his address at their 33rd Annual General Meeting on Friday in Port Harcourt.
Lauding the Rivers and Bayelsa states governments for consistent infrastructural upgrade, centralisation of revenue collection, high regard for rule of law, reduction of multiple taxation and tackling of insecurity in their states thereby providing enabling environment for business activities, Prince Beke also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the launch of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, 60 percent preferential forex allocation to the manufacturing sector for the importation of raw materials and machinery that are not locally available, among other policies that are business friendly in Nigeria.
Hon. Bake, who is also the chief executive officer of Eastern Wrought Iron Limited in Port Harcourt also hinted that the 33rd AGM featured the second Made in Nigeria Exhibition, and solicited for patronages from states and federal governments to enhance the productive capacity of the private sector, facilitate job creation and increase value chain thereby accelerating the growth of Nigerian economy.
Meanwhile, speaking on ‘Beyond Recession: Positioning The Business for the Future’, Mr. Rasheed Adegbenro, Senior Vice President at Centre for Values in Leadership, explained that Nigeria was at the borderline, as far as the technical exit from recession was concerned, warning that any error in spending can take the nation deeper into recession.
He therefore harped on the need for fiscal discipline by governments and the organised private sector, while calling for reinforcement of visions with pursuits, so as to avoid hallucination and being left behind by the rest of the world.
Mr. Adegbanro further hinted that Nigeria needed the right persons, with ‘can do spirit’ like the Asian tigers, in order to take advantage of opportunities in the global community where disruptive innovation is changing the way things are done.
Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State observed that the public sector cannot function successfully without the active participation of the organised private sector, hence the determination of his administration to aggressively engage in the upgrade in infrastructure, to facilitate movement of goods and people in the state.
Represented by Hon. Enemi Alabo George, House Committee chairman for Commerce and Industry at the Rivers State House of Assembly, Governor Wike also explained that Rivers State government has taken steps to address complaints of multiple taxation in the state.
He disclosed that the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, which has only professionals on its board, is being restructured, and that in due course, it will be coming out with innovations that will make tax payment faster and easier in the state.
Governor Wike also hinted that his administration is taking steps to fix the deplorable federal roads in the state, adding that work has resumed on the Eleme section of the East West road in response to the cry of the government and those who live and do business in the state.
The 33rd Annual General Meeting of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Rivers and Bayelsa states chapter featured presentations from Greenville LNG, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, while plaques were presented to Governor Ezenwo Wike for providing an enabling environment for business to thrive in Rivers State, and to the National President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs for his contributions to the association and Nigeria.