WorldStage Newsonline-- The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed strong faith in the new “Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)”, with the belief that it will positively impact on the organized private sector if well executed.
President of NECA Mr. Larry Ettah while addressing employers, the government and workers at its 60 Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, acknowledged and commended the government on initiatives such as the ERGP, improved access to foreign exchange, and executive orders aimed at easing the means of doing business.
Although, he stated that the association will sternly pursue its advocacy for business friendly policies that will enthrone an enabling environment supportive of sustainable and competitive enterprises, he wondered why the issues impeding business growth such as high interest rates, high unemployment and a fixed exchange rate system raised by his predecessors still remained a big challenge to the management of our economy today.
According to Ettah, the strong advocacy and lobbying by the Organized Private Sector, seemed not to have yielded significant result over the years .
He bemoaned, the lack of implementation of the past advice the association gave on effective management of the economy on inflation, minimum wage, Multiple taxation, delayed budget, saying they seemed to have fallen on the deaf ears of the government.
He asked, “Could it be that government simply does not have regard for the private sector, in spite of its rhetoric of recognizing the private sector as the engine of growth?“
In his respond, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma assured the employers of the governments support, stressing the need for the private sector to successfully partner with the government towards achieving sustainable economic growth.
He said, “The government needs the active participation of members of your organisation, the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), for it to achieve its ambitious goals.
“You represent many of the leading industrialists and manufacturers in Nigeria. It is your success that will encourage new investors to come into Nigeria. Your success is, therefore, our success.
“You can, therefore, count on a listening ear from Government as we work together to transform this economy to become the engine of production of our region and indeed, our continent.”
NECA is the Business membership organization representing the interest of Employers in all sectors of the Nigerian Economy. It protects the Rights of Enterprise and Employers through all legal and legitimate means and enthrone the private sector as a dependable engine of development.
The association’s financial performance for the year ended 31 December 2016 ended on a positive note with a total income of N220.1 million. This represented a growth of 8 per cent when compared with N203.9 million declared as income in 2015.
The association moderated expenses to N217 million from N220 million expended the previous year, to boost bottom line to a profitable position of N14.7 million as against a loss of N16.7 million declared as loss in 2015.
Other dignitaries present at the event were the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, President of the National Labour Congress(NLC) Mr. Ayuba Wabba, Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), including all past presidents of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association.