The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday joined hands some eminent Nigerians to launch the EnterpriseNGR, a professional and financial service advocacy group that he described as a game changer in Nigeria’s quest for economic development.
Osinbajo said the launch of the initiative would position Nigeria as the premier financial centre of Africa in the same way The CityUK transformed London to become the nerve centre of global financial service.
He said: “Today (yesterday) may pass quietly like other days but its significance in the years to come is bound to be huge. The reason is that we are formerly establishing the united and powerful voice of the Nigerian business and professional community the EnterpriseNGR, a professional policy advocacy group with the overarching vision to be a leading voice and champion for the development and transformation of the Nigeria economy and the mission to advance Nigeria’s transformation as Africa’s premier financial service centre.
“There is no doubt that the Enterprise Nigeria is a game changer when the informed Nigerian professionals and business community speak with one voice to issues of domestic or international business policy.
“On behalf of Mr. President and the federal government I will like to commend the initiators for their farsightedness in establishing the EnterpriseNGR, the first in the African region. It is our hope and prayer that the EnterpriseNGR will achieve its transformative objectives.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, described the establishment of the EnterprseNGR as a testimony of coming of age of Nigeria’s financial industry and its realisation of the critical role of the private sector could play in ensuring a thriving economy.
She said: “I congratulate and salute the efforts of the founding members of this nobel organisation. I am confident that the EnterpriseNGR will go a long way to improve the business terrain in Nigeria. I hope that your work will aid the acceleration of the economic development of our country.”
The Founding Chairman of the EnterpriseNGR, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said the non-profit advocacy group was established to collaborate with the public sector in championing the advancement of the Nigerian financial service sector.
Aig-Imoukhuede said: “We believe that the private sector and the government must work hand in hand to ensure that our nation takes off and reaches its full potentials. That is what Enterprise NGR is all about.”
He said the story of the EnterpriseNGR dated back to his years as the council president of the NSE when the council was introduced to The CityUK, a private sector advocacy organization that is renowned for its role as the key driver of the London’s current position as the global financial services power house.
“We were convinced then that Nigeria could achieve similar successes driven by Nigerian equivalent of The CityUK. We need to build a powerful coalition of financial services players who will work hand in hand with policy makers and regulators to transform Nigeria’s financial system.
“Similar to The CityUK, we aimed to engineer win-win positive results, such as GDP expansion, increased employment and of course national growth.
“We have lofty ambitions but we are confident that with right partners we can make this ambition a reality. I welcome you to a new era of opportunities to Nigeria’s financial services sector,” he said.
The Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners, Mr. Bayo Ogunlesi, charged the EnterpriseNGR to advocate for the emergence of strong financial system in Nigeria that could attract and match users and providers of capital.
Ogunlesi said: “Nigeria will never achieve its full potentials unless it raises a very strong financial system. It has to make it clear to the world that it is open to business. What the EnterpriseNGR will do is to be a powerful voice that makes sure that the country continues moving in the right direction.”
The CEO of the EnterpriseNGR, Ms. Obi Ibekwe, said it would require a strong strategic collaboration between the private and the public sectors for effective change that would help Nigeria to take its place in the world stage to occur.
Ibekwe added: “This is precisely the vision that informed the establishment of the EnterpriseNGR. Every country that has achieved economic development was powered by a strong financial system.
“Our goal is to promote a favourable environment where business sector advocate are able to effectively engage with policy makers by working closely with government authorities and other key stakeholders.”