The need to create enabling environment for business to thrive, access capital, constant power supply, good transport network, good access to markets as well as innovations have been identified as lasting solutions that can help transform Nigeria economically.
This was the submission made by array of panelists at the Kano and Enugu edition of Oya Media’s ‘How To Fix Nigeria’ Symposium Series held recently.
The ‘How to Fix Nigeria’ symposium is a hybrid virtual and physical event series which is funded by the MacArthur Foundation with conversations revolving around the singular theme of Uniting for Action. Discussants who took part at the Kano Edition include the Director of Solid Minerals, Ministry of Commerce, Kano State, Mallam Muhammad Bala; Managing Director, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) Kano Branch, Mr Sabo Yakassai; a lecturer from Hussaini Ahmed Federal Polytechnic Kazaure, Tijani Abdullah and a social entrepreneur.Salisu Abdullah while the session was moderated by Isyaku Ahmed.
Speaking on the role of NIRSAL in enabling agricultural start-ups, Yakassai stated that NISRAL’s primary role is to give credit to agricultural start-ups by strategically addressing key failures in agribusiness supply chains.
Calling on youths to see agriculture as a great enterprise, he noted that there were so many benefits to derive particularly in the areas of export promotion and import substitution as against producing for local consumption. to that rather than consume all agricultural produce locally, it is beneficial to determine the value of these produce through export promotion and import substitution which will in turn act to halt the steady devaluation of the Naira.
On his part, social entrepreneur, Salisu Abdullah stated that though the Nigeria’s business environment was quite challenging, it was important for youths to brace up to confront them if they are keen in achieving success.
Also speaking, director of Solid Minerals, Ministry of Commerce, Kano state Mallam Muhammad Bala stressed that time has come for Nigerians or the youths in particular to begin to appreciate and patronize made-in-Nigeria products. He said it was unfortunate that many of them were losing their roots to foreign ideas or products.
A lecturer, Hussaini Ahmed Federal Polytechnic Kazaure, Tijani Abdullah says though entrepreneurship is faced with challenges in this country, female entrepreneurs are faced with many more challenges. “Certain misconceptions are surrounding the female business owner, the first of which is that she has access to deep pockets and she may be termed amoral, many of these misconceptions stem from men who are challenged and intimidated by her success. However, let us not forget the restrictions marriage and childbearing imposes on her by nature of her gender”, Abdullah said.
On her part, Branch consultant, Manufacturer’s Association of Nigeria, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi branches, Ijeoma Ezeasor said businesses in Nigeria were going through a lot of challenges which explains why there has been little gains despite proliferation of many MSMEs.
According to Ezeasor, issues around legislations and policy framework remain daunting for the success of many enterprises in Nigeria. She urged government at all levels to come up with friendly policies that would promote the birth of many enterprise.
Also speaking,Engineer Elvis Obi-Nwankwo revealed that government was doing its best to improve the economy. Obi-Nwankwo stated that the state government has opened up some opportunities for the youths to tap into adding that they now have access to loans other resources.