Oyindamola Adeyemi, Executive Chairperson of Still Earth Holdings, the multi-sector diversified group, has advocated for the formulation and implementation of sound pro-business policies and incentives that promote enabling environment for businesses to thrive as key factors for building a stronger economy under the incoming administration.
She said “Nigeria economy has the potential for stronger rebound post-election, advising the new federal administration to be headed by president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to sustain the business-friendly reforms of the outgoing administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, but work on those that still inhibit the growth of businesses and enterprises.
Adeyemi noted that the economy has shown resilience with moderate Growth Domestic Product (GDP), occasioned by improved performance of the non oil sectors, driven by agriculture, service industry and construction.
She stated, however, that the economy has yet to hit the expected bounce rate, citing inflation and other disruptions in the economy, in particular the contraction of the oil and gas sector due to low output.
“The Nigerian economy has remained resilient with moderate GDP growth post pandemic period; albeit below expectation with the spiraling inflationary rate.
The non oil sectors have continued to contribute positively, driven by agriculture, service industry and construction, while oil and gas contracted due to low output,” Adeyemi said at a recent thought leaders’ event themed, ‘Times Ahead 2023,’ hosted by The Economist.
She was optimistic that Nigeria economy could further be reflated with the right policies and incentives. “However, the economy has the potential to witness a stronger rebound post election,” adding, “based on the sound pro-business policy outlooks and the implementation of same by the incoming administration.”
“This plus adherence to the rule of law and sound economic policies like ease of doing business, raising investors’ confidence, and ultimately attracting foreign direct investment inflows.”
Adeyemi, sharing insights on how Still Earth Holdings is uniquely positioned to contribute to Nigeria’s post-election economic development, stated that the group through its diversified portfolios across several segments including construction, oil and gas, and finance, is impacting the national economy by supporting businesses and enterprises with innovative solutions that make them build resilience and grow in a sustainable manner.
According to her, the group through subsidiary Tirex Oil and Gas, has been providing support to petroleum and energy sectors with superior technologies that boost the capacity for local oil exploration, production and global competitiveness.
Still Earth Capital Finance has also been enabling financial inclusion for, and impacting micro, small and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) income-generating capacity by providing them credits to boost their operations. “We’re crafting unique products that meet the needs of people and businesses and provide access to improved quality of life,” she added.
She identified inadequate infrastructure, poor access to credit, insecurity, lack of access to foreign exchange, low inflow of foreign direct investments, and climate change among others as critical factors that the incoming government must look into.
“There are opportunities for us to consider. One is infrastructure. To build a resilient framework for an economic development, we need to consider the centrality of adequate infrastructure,” she asserted.
Adeyemi noted that, with increased private sector investment in local refining, Nigeria could significantly boost oil production capacity for the global market, enhance international competitiveness, reduce demand for forex, as well as strengthening the naira,
She made case for improved funding for MSMEs to accelerate growth as the engine of socio-economic development and job creation, noting that funding gap was a major constraint for businesses in Nigeria generally.
Continuing, Adeyemi affirmed: “An enabling growth mindset from our future policy makers and the private sector will undoubtedly attract investors to Nigeria and even locally boost the business sector’s risk appetite.”
“As a female-led Nigerian success story, I believe Still Earth Holdings is the model of what women can achieve. More women can contribute significantly to the country and continent development with suitable investment and equitable opportunities for females and female- led MSMEs.”
Adeyemi added: “Across Africa, as corporate leaders we must continue to be community-minded and inclusive. Through our social responsibility programmes, Still Earth Holdings have made notable contributions to education and community development; and supporting foundations for cultural exchanges and creating research. We have also contributed to reducing delinquency, child labour and ending poverty by improving access to education for indigent students.”
In advocating further for a society that fosters socio-economic equity, the female entrepreneur emphasised partnership with the private sector as an important factor, and appealed to the incoming administration to prioritise the creation of an enabling policy environment to attract more private sector investment.
“One thing I want to leave with you all is that the future is partner-driven. The broader private sector-led growth strategy across all sectors will benefit the nation immensely. The role of business leaders is critical in creating jobs, reducing unemployment and establishing the conditions necessary for our enterprises to thrive,” she stated.
Further, Adeyemi said, “The incoming government must focus on creating an enabling policy environment to attract more private sector investment. The new government must recognise the key roles the entrepreneurs play in the economy. We also hope to see more vigorous economic policies from the new administration, innovative incentives and prompt passage of relevant bills to boost the economy.
Nigerians are blessed with creativity, innovation and a can-do spirit. To turn our fortunes right way up, we must look at our potential, encourage businesses and innovation and make it safe for ourselves and investors to live, work and do business here.”
Adeyemi is a notable figure within the Corporate Nigeria ecosystem, and one of the few celebrated females holding board appointments. As a thought leader, she is a major voice on national economic development.