By Emmanuella Anokam
Abuja, Nov. 4, 2020 The Federal Government says one of its major areas of focus in its industrial plan, post-COVID-19, era is the sustainability of existing businesses in the country.
Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment disclosed this in an address at the virtual annual conference of the Institute of Directors (IOD) where he was the Guest of Honour.
Adebayo, in a statement on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Ifedayo Sayo, said the pandemic had brought up the need to come up with strategies toward ensuring survival of existing businesses and attracting more foreign investment.
He said the pandemic also necessitated an increase of government’s focus toward ensuring sustainability of existing businesses.
This, he said, was specifically in 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 that 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 Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement next year.
“We welcome suggestions and input on how best to make these programs work and we are fully committed to support the institute, where necessary,” he said.
Represented by his Technical Adviser on Investment, Mr Kamal Bakrin, the minister noted that the theme of this year’s conference: “Business Ethics, Leadership and Sustainability as New Frontiers of Corporate Governance” aptly captured the relevant elements required for sustainability of every institution.
The minister said it also amplified the critical conversations that should help shape boardroom decisions across all the sectors of the economy.
He said 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 the work so far and for continuously instilling strong ethical values, not only within its body of members, but also beyond