The Founder and pioneer CEO of Stanbic Bank Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside, has said that investments in the Nigerian economy are declining because there is no level-playing field for investors. According to him, the economy has been rigged in favour of a few, which is making many prospective local and foreign investors to hold their funds and watch.
Speaking at the Vanguard Economic Focus themed: ‘National Plans & Performance: Gaps, Learnings & Opportunities’, Peterside side investors are moving their funds to other African countries where there is a level playing field for all.
Other speakers at the conference also agreed that the government has treated the private sector unequally. They added that the private sector can only thrive where there is a level playing field.
Taking a look at the economy in retrospect, Peterside, who was the Chairman of the occasion, said: “The Nigerian economy was one of the fastest-growing until 2014. It grew steadily for 15 years but since 2015, it has been declining steadily. We need to ask ourselves what has changed.”
This is not because other economies are also not growing. Others are growing but we are lagging. Investor confidence in the Nigerian economy is declining because there’s no level-playing field for the investors. The economy has been rigged to favour a few. To grow the economy, we have to create a level-playing field,” he said.
Peterside noted that “regrettably, the sectors that are thriving today are the ones that the government is not involved: ICT and creatives. This is because there is a level-playing field for all players in the two industries.”
Also speaking, a representative of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mr. Rushed Adegbenro, said the government has not allowed the private sector to function as it should.
“The government is still holding the key to the private sector. Aside from the challenge of Policy somersaults, which has made the policy environment unconducive, there is no level-playing field,” he said.