OrderPaperToday – Frontline business mogul, Mr. Tony Elumelu has urged the National Assembly to speedily commence the process of reviewing obsolete laws which impede business operations and have thus created current tough economic challenges in the country.
Elumelu, who is Chairman of the Tony Elumelu Foundation which mentors and enables young entrepreneurs across Africa, said the National Assembly must make more sacrifices to assist Nigeria in getting out of economic doldrums.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Monday, he said the review of laws that were fundamental to the survival of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) would go a long way in creating job opportunities for the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
While noting that non-access to credit facilities as well as difficulty in acquiring land were some of the major problems faced by MSMEs in Nigeria, he called for the review of the Land Use Act to make it easier for entrepreneurs to acquire land for their businesses
Elumelu who is also chairman of UBA Plc, also called for the review of the Privatisation Act and other relevant laws that would change the economic trajectory of the country, stressing that “instead of addressing the symptoms, let us address the fundamentals.”
He however tasked lawmakers to increase their productivity: “Let us hold our National Assembly members accountable, let us knock on their door. They must sit down and pass Bills; we need them to pass one bill per week. Nigeria as a country has seen difficult situations, so difficult times call for difficult reaction.
“We cannot afford to meet one hour a day and adjourn; we should sit down and pass bills. During the financial crises in America, lawmakers sat on Saturday and Sunday, we should do same. You can imagine what this country will become if we have these proper laws in place, we will not be thinking of oil again.”
On the budget, he advised against seeing the annual fiscal policy document as a major imperative of diversifying the economy, stressing that “the way to go is to create the enabling environment that would unleash the entrepreneurship in all of us. If a man who is interested in fishing for instance, has access to finance, conducive environment to register the business immediately, and tax duplication is avoided, he will be able to employ people.’’
According to him, if Nigerians were encouraged to establish micro businesses, there would be improvement in national productivity and less dependence on oil.
Mr. Elumelu was at the National Assembly to participate at a Business Roundtable organized by the Senate Monday.