Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday urged financial institutions to enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria by creating more credit facilities for the private sector.
The LCCI President, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, made the call at the“Nigerian Port Authority Special Day” at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, held at Tafawa Balewa Square.
Ruwase, represented by the Deputy President of the chamber, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said the move was necessary considering the World Bank’s ease of doing business 2019 report showing a marginal drop in ranking of the nation from 145 to 146.
He said that this underscored the need for more attention to be focused on the nation’s business environment, and the private sector empowered to create jobs and reduce poverty.
“We believe that addressing issues of ease of doing business is a growing concern.
“To continually improve this World Bank doing business ranking, the private sector must be empowered more than ever.
“We call for more credit to the private sector from banks and a sustained strategy for initiation of special interventions with grants and low interest loans, longer tenure and moratorium,” the LCCI president said.
Ruwase urged the Federal Government, NPA and other public institutions at the port to expedite action on the implementation of critical reforms, so as to address the challenges besetting the ports.
“Critical infrastructure at the ports, particularly at Lagos ports, should be provided to ease pressure and reduce costs of doing business at the ports,” he said.
The NPA Managing Director, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, said the authority was pursuing International Standard Organisation (ISO) 9001 and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Specification (OHSAS) certification to boost its efficiency and attract international recognition to the nation’s seaports.
Usman, represented by Mr Abubakar Umar, Port Harcourt Opertions Manager, said the attainment of the ISO compliant and certification awards would improve the financial performance of the authority.
“This will ensure quick turnaround time, improve traffic, business processes and other quality assured services to our vast clients,” she said.
The managing director said that the NPA remained resolute in its drive to ensure that the nation’s ports remain safe, secure, and customer-friendly, while delivering efficient port services.
“NPA has continued to facilitate and support the Federal government’s policy on the ` Ease of Doing Busines ‘ designed to improve efficiency in port operations and give value to the stakeholders,” she said.