Ease of Doing Business: LCCI boss harps on bridging political commitment, bureaucracy gap


The Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf has identified the gap between the political commitment and the commitment of the bureaucracy as one of the major factor responsible for inefficient implementation of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business one year down the line.

Yusuf who stated this while delivering a lecture at the 2nd Annual Lecture and Awards held in Lagos by the Primetime Reporters on Wednesday with the theme “The Gains and Challenges of Presidential Order on Ease of Doing Business in the Nigerian Maritime Sector One Year After”, added that the government was committed to making the order work but for the system.

He said,” The Vice President has quarterly meetings with the private sector and I am privileged to attend most of those meetings and the whole essence of that is to address the business environment issue and each time that I attend the meeting, I can see the passion of the Vice President to make things work and most time, he brings in all the key Ministers to those meetings and of course, these meetings are anchored by PEBEC, the Head of PEBEC, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, yes, she’s doing a fantastic job but the issue is there is political component that is associated with bureaucracy.

“It is one thing for policy makers to make pronouncements; it’s another thing for the bureaucracy which is the engine room of government, which is the apparatus through which you can deliver outcome, another thing is for them to sincerely commit to all of these issues.

“What I think is that there is a gap between the political commitment and the commitment of the bureaucracy in all these. So, it is the gap that we need to bridge because I have no doubt in my mind that government is sincerely committed to making things happen but this is not an easy thing to achieve especially when you are dealing with a system that have some things embedded in them for several decades and just as the Chairman said, some of these systems have personal vested interests, that is why you cannot under-estimate the kind of resistance at this stage of ease of doing business that we talk about”.

The LCCI boss however opined that there were other dimensions to the ease of doing business order as according to him, there were some of the issues that the Presidential order did not cover but were very important to the success of ease of doing business.

“The Chairman just talked about access to the port, the access roads, it is not the Presidential Order issue, but it is very important issue about ease of doing business in the port and of course, all of us have roles to play when we talk about ease of doing business; it’s not just only about the government. It’s about the government; it’s about those of us in the private sector, the importers, it’s also about the agents that are operating in the port, it’s about the regulators as well. So, it’s a multi-dimensional thing.

“The whole idea is not coming to blame anybody, it’s about having a very frank conversation and thank God we have PEBEC here who can take this feedback so that we can get a better environment for the maritime industry and even for the rest of the economy because whatever happens to the maritime happens to all other aspects of the economy because the maritime sector is like the nerve centre of the economy. People may not realize it; all the happenings in the ports have a way of affecting other aspects of the economy and also affecting the citizens”, he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinmauo stated that the lecture was organized as part of the medium’s constitutionally assigned role as the fourth estate of the realm and as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) adding that they chose to bring the executive order to the fore for an unbiased and independent assessment with the intent of fine-tuning it for a better result.

According to him, “One year down the line, there are divergent opinions on whether or not the executive order has actually served its purpose in the industry and whether the industry has benefitted from it especially as the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) recently called for its suspension as according to it, the order has not worked.

“To get this done, we have engaged the intellectual prowess of no less a person than the eminent Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf to do justice to the theme. I have no doubt that he will give his best when the time comes. I, therefore, urge you all to approach the lecture with an open mind and together, let us take the Nigerian maritime industry to an enviable height and make it a destination point for maritime professionalism in the Africa sub-region”.

Highlight of the event was the conferment of Primetime Reporters’ Awards of excellence on 14 deserving Nigerians including Barr. Mrs. Jean Chaizor Anishere, Barr. Emeka Akabogu, Sir Ernest Elochukwu, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike, Mr. Ignatius Nweke, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola and Mr. Godwin Ikeji.

Others are; Mrs. Ify Akerele, Captain Casmir Nwafor (rtd.), Comrade Nonso Smart Okafor, Mr. Patrick Ozobialu, Mr. Uchechukwu Aniezechukwu, Mr. Ante Mkpandiok and Mr. Ganiyu Sekoni Balogun.

Photo: L-R Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mr. Muda Yusuf, DCP Mr. Adeyemi Gbola, and Miss Adaora  Nwonu from Nigerian Shippers Council  , during the 2nd Annual Lecture  and awards theme ‘the Gains and Challenges of the Presidential order on ease of doing business in the Nigerian Maritime Sector one year after’ Organized by Primetime Reporters in Lagos yeserday. Photo by Chinyere Ikeanyi.

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