Lagos, June 24, 2023: The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has lauded the President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s tempo at addressing salient economic issues such as fuel and electricity subsidy removal.
ICSAN outgoing President, Mr Gbenga Owokalade, said this at a news conference on Friday in Lagos.
Owokalade also commended the Student Loan Act and exchange rate unification.
He said the move by the current administration on fuel and subsidy removal would reduce the country’s dependence on fuel for energy uses, generate newer alternative energy ideas and address the monopolistic nature of the oil and power sectors.
Owokalade added that the newly signed Electricity Act would drive more private sector, state and local governments inclusivity in electricity supply, distribution and generation of the country.
He noted that subsidy removal would trigger new business activities and initiatives in the energy sector.
Owokalade said that government must strive to create the right environment for those businesses to deliver.
He also emphasised the need to empower states and local governments through constitutional reforms, to minimise rural to urban migration and the ‘japa’ trend.
Owokalade tasked the government on the provision of palliatives within a reasonable timeline, to minimise the effect of subsidy removals on individuals and organisations.
The ICSAN president noted that while there were no perfect policies, there was the need for government to engage key stakeholders to perfect its implementation and address the gaps identified.
He added that government must expand activities aimed at engendering growth and development of the private sector and redirecting foreign direct investment into the country to grow the economy.
“The boldness of government to remove subsidy is commended, though we know the initiatives comes with huge consequences because of the heavy dependence of every Nigerian household on fuel.
“We look forward to seeing the real economic template of the government that the private sector can leverage on that would also encourage international investment.
“The era of loosing our businesses and investments to smaller countries would end and Nigeria must take its rightful place as the heartbeat of Africa and even the international arena,” he said.
Owokalade said his administration in the last two years in partnership with the media had achieved great strides in propagating the institute’s activities to drive good corporate governance practices.
He added that his tenure carried on with the institute’s long term strategic plan, increased its membership base, engaged stakeholders to further institutionalise corporate governance in tertiary institutions and the public sector.
The outgoing ICSAN president also pledged continued engagement with the media, through trainings, awards ceremonies amongst other areas, to further propagate the adoption of good corporate governance culture in the country.
“We have partnered with several regulatory bodies, many institutions and international bodies and have signed agreement with Canada, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, so that Nigerians domiciled in those areas can continue to enjoy the services we render.
“We would also continue to partner with government to see how we can come out of the negativity in international media space and release advocacy documents to aid government’s policy implementation.
“As my tenure winds down, I want to thank the media for the platform to achieve so much within this period and I know that this would not end with me because the next person would also continue in the same vein,” he said.