NECA: regulators stifling OPS growth
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has accused regulatory bodies of constituting a clog in the wheel of progress of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).
The association, during a visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, lamented that the regulators were working at cross purposes.
The association warned that except the vision behind the Ease of Doing Business was allowed to work, they might be forced to go to court to seek redress, because of the non-accessibility of some of the chief executives of some regulatory bodies, who put spanners in the work.
NECA Director-General Timothy Olawale said the meeting focused on NECA’s concerns on issues of competitiveness of business and sustainability in Nigeria.
“There are several of them, but key among them, are the issue of regulatory bodies that are working at cross purpose.
“The Ease of doing Business that is being championed by the Office of the Vice President and Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). What we are saying is that we may not have access to Office of the Vice President every now and then to escalate issues for his attention.
“While also we do not want to be running to the court to seek relief because of the issue of non-accessibility of some of the chief executives of some regulatory bodies, we want a situation where there is a clearing desk in the Office of the Vice President, where we can escalate these issues and they can be resolved amicably, in the interest of national development and national economy.
“As a matter of fact, many businesses have been made, but what we are saying is that it is not all regulatory bodies of government that are on the same page with government on the desirables,’’ he said.
He added that there were instances where some of the regulatory bodies shut businesses without recourse to dialogue and instances where there were infractions or interventions from the agencies of government outside their enabling Act.
Mr. Olawale maintained that the rule of law must be respected. He said “Even when you have cases in court and there are restraining orders, we have instances where some of the regulatory bodies go against such orders and still go ahead to disrupt businesses.
“The Vice President has said it is something that is doable. The setting up of a clearing desk where these issues can be escalated because he is very desirous of working closely with the private sector and all these issues are issues that can be taken on board,” Olawale said.
On minimum wage, he urged the government and labour unions to adopt the principle of give and take as it was very important. He said there was need to arrive at a win-win situation.
He warned that if the negotiation dragged on for too long, it may lead to workers going on strike, an action which he warned that the economy cannot afford.
He said: “The economy cannot afford another round of strike. Right now, the economy is fragile, even oils is having problem and anything that will destabilise the economy will take us back to recession.”