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Hold National Assembly accountable for economic challenges, says Elumelu

President Obama's US-Africa Leaders Summit 2014. Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington DC. African Business Leader: Tony O. Elumelu. PR: KRL International, DC. Photographs by Margarita Corporan

 Tony O. Elumelu PHOTO: Margarita Corporan

Chairman, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, has said that non-review of obsolete laws by the National Assembly was largely responsible for current economic challenges in the country.

Elumelu told newsmen in Abuja on Monday that review of laws 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.

Instead of addressing the symptoms, let us address the fundamentals. 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,’’ he said.

“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,” Elumelu added.

He also said that the non-access to credit facilities as well as difficulty in acquiring land were some of the major problems faced by MSMEs.

He called for the review of the Land Use Act to make it easier for entrepreneurs to acquire land for their businesses.

He also called for the review of the Privatisation Act and other relevant laws that would change the economic trajectory of the country.

On diversification, Elumelu, former Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), said that the budget had little or nothing to do with effective diversification of the economy.

According to him, we should stop talking of budget in the bid to diversify the economy.

“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.”

He said that if Nigerians were encouraged to establish micro businesses, there would be improvement in national productivity and less dependence on oil.

This post was syndicated from The Guardian Nigeria. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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