Ibru Tasks FG As 2013 Lagos Trade Fair Opens

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President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Goodie Ibru, on Friday said that globally competitive businesses were the surest paths to sustainable economic growth in the country.

Ibru said this at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

According to him, developing nations should not only protect industries and firms, but should also make them domestically and globally competitive.

“It is imperative to fix the numerous impediments to competitiveness of the Nigerian private sector in order to improve business confidence.

“These impediments include the poor state of infrastructure and influx of sub-standard and fake products into the country,’’ he said.

Ibru said that Nigeria would benefit from the recent endorsement of Common External Tariff (CET) by the council of ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments if its domestic enterprises were competitive.

He appealed to the Federal Government to grant industries generous tax concessions and provide incentives that would allow them to enjoy economic integration to be fostered by the CET.

Ibru said that the theme of the trade fair, “Harnessing Trade Potential for an Inclusive Economy”, was chosen to emphasise the importance of trade and inclusiveness in the economic growth process.

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“Sectoral linkages promote inclusiveness in an economy.

“There are currently no linkage between the large enterprises and the small businesses; no sufficient linkages between the oil and gas sector and the rest of the economy.

“The outlook for our macro-economic fundamentals may be positive, but if these linkages are not there, the benefit of current growth performance will not be felt,” Ibru said.

Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said that the private sector should be fully supported to create economic growth through investments.

“The quality of infrastructure and effectiveness of technological development can attract investments that will enable the growth of an inclusive economy.

“No economy can experience a sustainable growth without necessary incentives and economic reforms that can spur it.

“It is necessary for the government to enhance the private sector with effective policy measures that will make businesses, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive,” Abubakar said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that about 1000 businesses from 13 countries are participating at the trade fair.