To stimulate economic growth, businesses need to be incentivised, Toyin Sanni said at the ThinkBusiness Africa Breakfast Meeting at the Capital Club, Lagos. Speaking on government reforms and the recent monetary measures of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanni argues that there should be an alignment of both fiscal and monetary policies, both in the short and long run. The government and the monetary authorities should not only be concerned about attracting foreign investments, but also providing incentives to domestic businesses.

Sanni stressed further that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need support to grow and they need to be to access cheap capital that is only available in the capital market. She highlighted the US $15 million foreign funding Emerging Capital has just finalised with a Singaporean fund to support small businesses in Africa, and the need to bridge the gap in the middle space of Nigeria’s production. Essentially, she stressed the potential of the equity market to support SME growth. By facilitating access to capital, the equity market can empower SMEs to expand their operations, create jobs, and contribute to sustainable economic development. 

The conversation extended beyond the capital market, acknowledging the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing the various challenges faced by investors in Nigeria. Sanni emphasised the importance of improved infrastructure including transportation and energy networks, which is crucial for attracting and facilitating investment. She also argued for improved regulatory frameworks, touching on clear and predictable regulations which are essential for fostering investor confidence and creating a stable investment environment. On promoting transparency and good governance, Sanni reiterated on strong corporate governance practices and transparency in financial reporting, which are crucial for building trust and attracting investors.

Toyin Sanni’s participation in the ThinkBusiness Africa Breakfast Meeting served as a powerful reminder of the critical role collaboration and knowledge sharing play in shaping Nigeria’s investment landscape. By bringing together diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, business leaders, and experts, ThinkBusiness Africa breakfast meeting provides a platform that is beyond identifying challenges but to also implementing effective solutions that pave the way for a brighter investment future in Nigeria.

The ThinkBusiness Breakfast meeting had two sections. In the first section, led by Ogho Okiti, CEO of ThinkBusiness Africa, provided insights into Nigeria’s economic and policy landscape. In his presentation on the Naira Crisis, Okiti shared that the government should pay greater attention to the root of the current crisis, which is the awful fiscal policy of the last administration. In the context, the heavy lifting of the solution should come from the fiscal side and not the almost entire focus on the monetary policy and its short-term instruments. He argued that the current approach of using monetary policy solutions for largely fiscal problems, not only raises the burden on businesses, but not sustainable.

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