Senate to Tackle High Cost of Doing Business in Nigeria

June 19, 2017

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, has disclosed that the 8th National Assembly, especially the upper legislative chamber, will soon address the high cost of doing business in Nigeria.

Mr Saraki made this disclosure while delivering his speech at the 11th Annual Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law, which took place on Sunday at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.

According to the Senate President, it was important for the lawmakers to ensure the cost of doing business in the country was favourable to investors.

At the event, Mr Saraki told participants that the Senate recently met with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to discuss the high interest rates charged by commercial banks in the country on loans granted to investors. He said the next would be the high cost of doing business.

“We are also pursuing monetary policy interventions with the CBN to reduce the cost of foreign exchange,” the leader of the National Assembly said in his speech.

“We have just recently also met on the issue of the interest rate regime, a very sensitive and complex area, but for which we think we must again creatively and deliberately look at to further bring down the cost of doing business in Nigeria,” he said further.

Mr Saraki added that in agriculture, the Senate has targeted access to finance and policy stability as the key intervention areas.

“Here, the National Assembly has passed the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (Act) (Amendment) Bill 2016.

“The objective being to increase the band of the scheme and reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks hindering access to agriculture financing.

“We are at the moment working on a bill to ensure policy stability in this critical area of our economy. If there is anything we have learnt over the years about investment in the agriculture sector, it is that policy somersaults have made investment unattractive in this potentially rich sector of our economy,” the Senate President said.

He thanked the organisers “for the invitation extended to me to be with you here today to speak on this very vital theme ‘Law and the Changing Face of Legal Practice,’ noting that “it is a great pleasure to be in your midst.”

The Senate President said the NBA is not just a stakeholder “but one of the most critical voice of reason within our body polity.”

“This is why we at the Senate have continued to seek out and engage you for advice and consultations on national issues.

“The role the NBA plays in shaping public perception and the opportunity it offers as a vehicle for promoting good governance have continued to grow,” Mr Saraki said.

According to the World Bank, Nigeria ranks 169 in the Ease of Doing Business world rankings as at 2017.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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