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Nigerian Private Sector Urged to get rid of Dependence Culture

Published date:
Monday, 25 July 2005

African Round-Table (ABR) executive president Bamanga Tukur, has urged the private sector in Nigeria to jettison its culture of depending on the public sector.

Tukur, who is also chairman NEPAD Business Group made the call in Dakar at the just-concluded fourth forum of the Africn Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) organised by the Senegalese and U.S. governments.

He said in an interview that the private sector should embrace the challenges of developing the non-oil sector of the economy by engaging in export trade.

He said Nigerian businessemen and women should be relieved of their "attitude and mind-set" of depending on the public sector.

"Most of the businessmen look to the local, state and federal governments as their mentors," and failed to realize that they were capable of executing sucessful businesses.

"Most of them believe that to do a business you have to get a patron; somebody in a high position must introduce you. That is not possible," he said.

Tukur said the ABR had been working hard toward re-orientating African businessmen and that NEPAD Business Group was also complementing that effort. He said ABR had been sensitising the Nigerian private sector to understand the role to play in a developing economy. He commended President Olusegun Obasanjo for his readiness to dialogue with the private sector and called on the private sector to take the advantage by linking up with various associations including chambers of commerce, informal sector and the market women.

He said Obasanjo had done well to provide a business- friendly environment citing structures established to ensure good governance, combat corruption and the liberalisation of the communications sector.

According to him, "these have enhanced business in Nigeria." He also noted that the Bank of Industry was established to complement the functions of other financial institutions by providing credit to businesses.

However, Tukur said business would not grow unless key infrastructure such as power, water and good roads were provided.

He, however, advised Nigerians to be patient, saying "these would be achieved gradually."

On AGOA, the ABR president said the message was to encourage Africans to do business as the emphasis now was on trade more than aid.

He said Africans businessmen should understand that trade was more sustainable by establishing viable SMEs, forming network and linkages and ensure that their products were competitive.

AGOA is a preferential trade arrangement introduced by the U.S. government to enable products of some countries in sub-saharan Africa have access to the U.S. market, duty and quota free.

He said the roadmap to the success of AGOA was better partnership between the public and private sectors in Africa.

He said since democracy was now thriving in AGOA eligible countries, private sector should have the right to dialogue with their governments in policy inputs.

"Governments should, therefore, listen to us and solve our problems to enable the continent move forward," Tukur said.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Nigeria’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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