As the Central Bank of Nigeria continues to tinker with the country’s foreign exchange regime, a renowned banker and entrepreneur has said that the current foreign exchange regime is strangulating business.
Speaking in an interview with Independent newspaper in Lagos , Mr. Bola Akindele who is the founder and group managing director of Courteville Business solutions PLC, a Nigerian Stock Exchange- listed company in the ICT sector, said that the current foreign exchange regime in the country was not in the interest of entrepreneurs and other business people, adding that interest rate was harming business.
According to him, “Everyone knows that the business environment has been tough in the last 18 to 24 months. The figures coming from the companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange shows that the operating environment is tough. The foreign exchange regime is killing business ; interest regime was killing business.
“Policies are not in place; this year’s budget has not been properly managed and passed into law and nothing has really worked. We are just being resilient as Nigerian businessmen and women. We are just hoping that the issues will be resolved as soon as possible and the budget signed into law so that things can return to normal.
Speaking on the roles small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should play in the development of the country, Akindele, a senior executive with over three decades of professional experiences spanning audit, banking, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, and technology, said : “SMEs should be the fulcrum on which the economy runs; SMEs should be the core of any economy,” adding that SMEs play a critical role in the development of any economy.
He stated that economic activities start with the little things those small businesses and cottage industries do; adding that it is the small businesses that have sustained Germany as an economic power house in the world.
According to him, it is easier for a few big businesses to fail and fail the economy in the process, adding that millions of small businesses scattered all over the country will not fail at the same time no matter what.
“When a country relies on a mass like that which are doing well, it is only a matter of time before the economy will start doing well,” he added.
Speaking on the business environment in the country he said that the environment is harsh to entrepreneurs; especially young ones who want to establish and run their own businesses.
However, he gave young, budding and would-be entrepreneurs tips on how to successfully manage and grow their businesses in the hostile Nigerian business space.
Akindele said that though the environment is tough, there are opportunities in the country for new businesses to thrive, adding that young and aspiring entrepreneurs should create a value proposition that people will be willing to buy into.
He said that success in any business depends on God and “ how well you work,” adding that young and budding entrepreneurs should work hard at whatever they are doing.
Speaking on one of the many companies he manages, he said, “ I started AutoReg just to serve the people and a need to fill a gap in society. We want to improve processes because everything was being done manually. We should be able to do our processes in minimum time and at minimum cost and add value at every point in the process.”
FRIDAY APRIL 8, 2016