The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, says the focus of Federal Government’s industrial plan, in the post-COVID-19 era, is the sustainability of existing businesses in the country.
He said this in his address at the virtual annual conference of the Institute of Directors (IOD) where he was the Guest of Honour.
The minister, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Ifedayo Sayo, said the pandemic had necessitated the initiation of strategies aimed at ensuring the survival of existing businesses and attracting more foreign investment.
He stressed that the pandemic had strengthened the government’s focus on how to ensure the sustainability of existing businesses.
He said that the government’s emphasis was specifically on the areas of access to financing and markets, tax relief and improvement in the ease of doing business.
According to him, the industrialisation strategy is inclusive and recognises the important role which Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play in sustainable economic growth.
“We understand that the institute can play a significant role in mentoring MSMEs, especially by providing guidance on quality and standards, leveraging technology, organisation design and optimisation, and even financing options that will help them mature and become true drivers of economic growth.
“It is obvious that getting this right also positions Nigeria to be a net beneficiary when we fully commence the implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement next year.
“We welcome suggestions and input on how best to make these programmes work and we are fully committed to supporting the institute, where necessary,” he said.
Represented by his Technical Adviser on Investment, Mr Kamal Bakrin, the minister noted that the theme of the conference, “Business Ethics, Leadership and Sustainability as New Frontiers of Corporate Governance”, aptly captured the relevant elements required for sustainability of every institution.
Adebayo said that the programmes and advocacy activities of the IOD had continued to serve as a strong corporate governance guide and compass for all directors, and, indeed, managers and staff, in their decision-making processes and daily business interactions.
“The advent of the global public health pandemic has seen many businesses and government institutions, both local and foreign, struggle for survival, as boards and management teams develop and execute various strategies to ensure their organisations stay afloat.
“It is reassuring to know that the IOD has consistently articulated the principles and values that guide the stakeholders of institutions, in order to preserve and improve public confidence in the boards of companies; thus ensuring sustainability and creating wealth for the benefit of the businesses and the nation as a whole.
“This plays a vital role in achieving our socio-economic goals of job creation and poverty alleviation by strengthening the prospects of attracting investments, both local and foreign, to the country’s economy, and ensuring the sustainability of existing businesses.
“This is of great importance to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, especially as we also continue to actively address challenges that discourage investments into the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Adebayo commended the Institute on its work so far and for continuously instilling strong ethical values, not only within its members, but also beyond their circle.