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Business - September 25, 2019

Utomi identifies regulatory risk as major problem for businesses in Nigeria

Political Economist and Management expert, Prof. Pat Utomi has identified regulatory risk as the biggest challenge of businesses in Nigeria and called for national strategy in policy formation.

Utomi spoke alongside other stakeholders at the Regulatory Conversations 4.0 with the theme `Foreign Exchange Restrictions on Food Imports and Implications for Regulating and Growing the Nigerian Economy” in Lagos.

The Delta State born said that many companies had collapsed in Nigeria due to regulatory risk and lack of national strategy.

“We should have a clear national strategy that we want to become global leaders in these one, two, three areas.

“We can do isolated industrial policy to those areas of which our endowments allow us to become competitive globally and dominate that value chain,” Utomi said.

He noted that negative legitimacy would not take the country anywhere rather it would destroy businesses and lead to increase in unemployment rate.

“The biggest risk in doing business in Nigeria is regulatory risk.

“The regulator is more likely to kill a company than any market risk,” he said.

Utomi said that systematically certain sector of the economy had been wiped out by an unthinking regulator’s actions

He said that government needed to think through the consequences of its policies before implementation, noting that restrictions would not take the country anywhere.

Utomi explained that players in the industry should educate each other on the consequences because the economy belonged to everyone.

“Part of our duty as players in this, is to say to ourselves, look this economy belongs to all of us; can we begin to educate ourselves on the consequences,” he said.

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