Yusuf: Govt Needs to Create Sustainable Business Environment

Yusuf: Govt Needs to Create Sustainable Business Environment

In this interview with Ugo Aliogo, the Managing Partner at Verraki, Niyi Yusuf speaks on what Nigeria must do to improve competitiveness and attract better investments, talents and resources. Excerpts.

What does competitiveness mean within in the Nigerian context and how can it be improved?
From a layman’s perspective, competitiveness means being as good, or even better, especially when there is more than one participant. Competitiveness thus means, I have more strengths relative to my competitor, that is, for an individual perspective. From the perspective of a country, competitiveness is broader. Here, you look at how countries are positioned to compete amongst themselves in the global markets, to attract more of finite resources. The concept of globalization, global markets and competitiveness are intertwined as all countries are trying to position themselves to attract as much capital, talent, investments, and resources. Competitiveness from this perspective will examine how well-positioned your country is, to other countries within your geography, or within a market segment, among other metrics.

How is Nigeria rated, compared to other countries within the global markets as we seek to attract talent, capital investments, and industries into the country?
Ultimately, what attracts outsiders are the capabilities that you have, the type of enabling environment that you provide, that allows your enterprises and your companies to create value and allow your people to prosper. And if you use these lenses: how companies and enterprises create value and how people prosper, you will argue that Nigeria still has a lot to do to improve its competitiveness.
We don’t have a lot of Nigerian companies that are leaders in their markets globally or even on the continent. Also, poverty and illiteracy have increased in the country, and more so in the last decade.

If one uses those two lenses as the parameters for evaluating competitiveness of a country, that is, the prosperity of its citizens or residents, and the value creation of the companies in the countries, and then examine the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF), one will get a better understanding of where Nigeria is relative to other nations. The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index looks at about 12 pillars of productivity in four broad categories. The first category describes transforming enabling environments, which address the kind of institutions that you have, the infrastructure, technology adoption, stability of the macroeconomics (interest rates, inflation rate, exchange […]

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