LCCI canvasses better interface between SMEs, regulatory agencies

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is seeking effective engagement between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and regulatory bodies to enhance communication.

This was disclosed by Director –General of the LCCI Muda Yusuf, in a press statement released to The ICIR on Monday.  The statement was released after a study was carried out by the chamber and the Centre for International Private Enterprise on business owners and agencies responsible for interfacing with regulatory agents in three cities: Aba, Lagos and Kano.

Yusuf stated that the study focused on the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as strategic regulatory agencies.

The study revealed the need to close the gap between SMEs and officials of the regulatory agencies as this would drive efficacy and regulate all forms of revenue leakages and transparency issues.

The statement noted that the objective of The Executive Order 001, signed by the Federal Government in 2017, was to facilitate the ease of doing business in Nigeria through the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.

“The Executive Order compelled Federal MDAs to publish a full list of requirements including fees on their website and to ensure that the list is verified and always updated to guide and ease application process for both local and foreign investors/businesses,” it read.



    Yusuf stated that internal service complaints structures had been put in place to address cases of service dissatisfaction, and described the use of intermediaries and consultants as pervasive. He added that the cost of procuring services and products from regulatory agencies affected the bottom-line and general performance of the SMEs.

    According to the study, however, the management of NAFDAC and FIRS had made commendable efforts to increase transparency in their day regulatory activities. The NAFDAC had designed a three-pronged approach to achieving transparency in conducting regulatory activities with emphasis on understanding and avoiding transactional corruption, the report said.

    “Similarly, the study noted that FIRS has put in place a seamless service procurement mechanism for the benefit of its tax payers/customers and to promote efficient service delivery performance as well as improve the ease of doing business,” it read.

    Yusuf concluded that diligent implementation of the recommendations would bring about significant improvement in the operating environment for SMEs.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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