By Charles Nwaoguji
The Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Savage said that there is an urgent need for the restructuring of Government spending in favour of capital expenditure in view of the huge infrastructure deficit confronting the nation.
According to him, the relatively low performance in capital budget which hovered around 60% as at December 2017, when compared with the almost 100% implementation of recurrent expenditure is not development friendly.
Savage, who stated this at the ICC AGM, held recently in Lagos, said that the trend of unspent capital allocations which are usually returned to the treasury is blamed on delayed budget approval processes, adding that there is need to revisit this issue for the good of the economy.
Similarly, he said Nigeria ranked 125th globally and 27th in Africa, moves up 2 places in the global ranking despite its GCI scores declined from 3.39 in 2016 to 3.30 in 2017.
He noted Nigeria’s downward trend can be attributed to worsening macroeconomic conditions, high inflation, huge budget deficit, poor health and primary education, poor higher education and training, huge infrastructural gap, low technological readiness and innovation gap, and uncertainty in business environment to mention a few.
He said that Nigeria’s economic development hinges on the prospects of market impetus and trade facilitation with other nations for accelerated economic growth.
He said ICCN through its partnerships with developmental institutions would encourage international trade agreements and policies that would attract FDI that would serve as a catalyst to economic development.
He said, “Nigeria currently has large and untapped investment opportunities in various sectors of its economy; including mining, agribusiness and services.
“I would like to think there is something we can do if we muster enough political will: that is keying into the global agenda of the ICC on prosperity.
“Since inception, our chamber has demonstrated its established capacities to regulate international business and steer the global economy in the right direction.
“Besides these global regulatory roles, the ICC also stimulates growth and prosperity as it supports individual government’s efforts.
Savage said that the chamber through its commissions comprising experts in specialised fields from the private sector would facilitate cross-border transactions while enhancing best practices among companies.
On security , he said the current efforts of the Federal government to address the security issues should be sustained.
“Most importantly, those nefarious acts that have dislocated and shattered economic activities in the affected
He stated that there is the need to tackled security more effectively with a view to bringing them to a halt,” he said.
Also speaking at the event , the Chairman, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman said that the Code of Corporate Governance will ensure the highest standards of transparency, accountability and good corporate governance, without unduly inhibiting enterprise and innovation.
“It is generally agreed that weak corporate governance has been responsible for some recent corporate failures in Nigeria,” he said.
In order to improve corporate governance, he said that government must review the 2003 Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies in Nigeria to address its weakness and to improve the mechanism for enforceability.