Conference on doing business in Nigeria; Expert urges economic development for security

Article Summary

  • Nations must develop internally at least to a minimum level, otherwise order and stability would not be possible.
  • Organizations must begin to reinvent value creation and strategic technology investments to succeed.
  • Olalekan Salami, the Executive Director of ONEID, was awarded a $10,000 start-up grant

A security expert, Rear Admiral Cor Ezekobe (Rtd), said that economic development is a real tool to reduce the growing trend of insecurity in Nigeria and beyond. He says that security is development; and without development there can be no security.

He made this comment recently while giving a presentation at the Doing Business in Nigeria Conference (DBNC), a platform that brings together business experts who share ideas and ways to sustain business in Nigeria on an annual basis.

Doing Business in Nigeria Conference is a platform where people who want positive change in their business meet with business experts who share their insights on running business in Nigeria. The recently held conference was the third edition and counting.

development is security

In his presentation titled: Security as a criterion of a nation’s attractiveness for business, Ezekobe, who quoted Robert McNamara, an American businessman and former US Secretary of State, of all individuals, communities, ethnic groups, and political entities.

He stated that although Obasanjo tried to define national security in contemporary times, he did not adequately connect it with economic imperatives, which is the crux of our discourse.

Therefore, he adopted McNamara’s version, which argued that “Security is not military equipment, although it may include it. Security is not military force, although it may imply it. Security is not a traditional military activity, although it can encompass it. Security is development, and without development there can be no security.

Ezekobe made a connection between security and the economic well-being of the citizenry. He pointed out that the World Bank divides nations on the basis of per capita income into rich, middle, poor and extremely poor.

Extremely poor countries suffer wars

He said studies have shown that 32 of the world’s 38 extremely poor countries have experienced significant conflict.

  • “This trend also affects poor and middle-income nations of the world, although to a lesser degree in line with the poverty level. From this it can be deduced that there is a direct relationship between violence and the economic backwardness of a nation.
  • “There is also a marked increase in youth in most of the world’s extremely poor and extremely poor nations, accompanied by unemployment and an inability to create wealth and jobs to engage the abundant youth in these countries; Nigeria is no exception. This is a recipe for violence as enunciated in the Youth Bulge theory.
  • “In pragmatic terms, security implies a minimum measure of order and stability. Nations must develop internally at least to a minimum level, otherwise order and stability would not be possible. Derived from the above, security in this context is assumed as economic, social and political progress.
  • This implies a reasonable standard of living which follows from the fact that as development progresses there is a corresponding increase in security.Ezekobe said.

He said trend analysis suggests a correlation between armed banditry, militia groups, kidnapping and cattle rustling in what appears to be a convergence of illegal networks.

  • “This has caused loss of life and property and ultimately undermines peace with serious consequences for human security. Most Nigerians who can afford it no longer travel by road. So how do we expect foreign investors to reach their target environment?

In a related development, GCEO Chairman, Transcorp Group, Dr. Owen D. Omogiafo, also introduced the topic: Business Resilience in Turbulent Times.

He stated that organizations must begin to reinvent value creation and strategic technology investments to be successful. She said this could mean a total reinvention of the business model, but it could be just what they need to thrive in the business landscape.

He said that transformation can only happen when there is the capacity and resources to make a change, so companies need to reassess their roles.

  • “Regardless of the type of transformation that takes place, talent and ability are key. Companies need to build flexibility and durability into their strategies,” she said.

Conference on doing business in Nigeria;  Expert urges economic development for security

future survival

Citing a report from PwC’s 2023 CEO Survey, he said that 40% of CEOs say they don’t think their business will be viable in the next 10 years if they don’t change and embed resilience.

Omogiafo, who boasted of the prowess of the Group’s bottom line of N75.3 billion in 2020, N111.2 billion in 2021 and N134.7 billion in 2022, said developing a resilience agenda that addresses short-term issues term and long-term challenges is basic.

The share price of Transcorp Group increased from ₦0.57 in 2020 to ₦3.12 traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2023.

Referring to Transcorp’s flexible management approach, he said the ability to adapt to abrupt changes in business depends on having a vision, communicating the vision and involving the entire organization in the vision.

There were two panels, the first focusing on diversifying the Nigerian economy, bringing together Ben Liewellyn, Rotimi Odusola, engineer Edu Okeke, Hanu Fejiro Agbodje, Lola Esan and Dr. Olayemi Dawodu.

The second session of the panel, which focused on the role of security in trade, brought together Bukola Smith, Taiwo Dayo-Abatan, Wale Olaoye, Sebastine Nzeadibe, Oyinpreye Aigbogun and Tanwa Ashiru.

$10,000 start-up grant

One of the highlights of the event was a $10,000 prize for Business Pitchers, Olalekan Salami, the CEO of ONEID, was the winner. The startup pitching exercise, which was hotly contested by Oluwakemi Akorede, CEO of NUTRABOOM, Nurein Akindele, CEO of SAKULA, Charles Okala, CEO of WANO and Olalekan Salami. The launch was overseen by a panel of sound judges, who, while deeming all of the contestants’ products scalable, rated ONEID as the most scalable.

The $10,000 prize money was awarded by Providus Bank

The ONEID startup aims to unify the identities of all Nigerians in one portal where the government and private entities can get the identities of individuals at once.

About The Convocator of Doing Business in Nigeria Conference (DBNC)

Conference organizer Linda Uneze is a Managing Partner/Co-Founder of Maurice Xandra Solutions, a human resources consulting firm. Her featured strategies have boosted the companies she has served during the year in various sectors i.e. Healthcare, Hospitality, Fin-Tech. Etc.

She is a certified Transformational Coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. She has mentored business executives, youth, and individuals who dared to live above limitations.

Uneze has an MBA from Manchester Business School and a BA from Anambra State University where he graduated with first class honours. Some of the places she has worked include MTN Nigeria and Environmental Accord.

The business leader, who is also an alumna of the Human Resources Certificate Institute, USA, has been consistent in resolving business employer/employee related issues as well as offering business solutions for her clients. Her passion for seeing businesses in Nigeria prosper is one of the reasons she created the Doing Business in Nigeria Conference, which is a platform to foster the exchange of experiences in the Nigerian business environment, thus attracting more investors.

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