Nigeria

Kingsley Moghalu: Financial inclusion spurs business development, economic growth

Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, says adoption of financial inclusion systems will spur business development for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Moghalu gave the advice at the 2020 edition of the Africa Business Ethics Conference (ABEC), which entered its second day on Tuesday in Lagos.

Newsmen report that the theme of the conference is “Tackling Corruption to Reduce Poverty and Unemployment in Africa: A Necessity for Building Resilience to Global Risks.”

Moghalu also emphasised the need for strong political institutions and strong regulatory reforms to enforce ethical standards that would engender level playing environment for businesses to thrive.

This, he said, would ensure a more ethical business culture, once public sector reforms tackled corruption. He pushed for more training on ethics in the business environment.

Moghalu also advised on the need to transit from shareholders capitalism to stakeholders capitalism to improve inclusive economy in Nigeria.

“We are talking about the workers becoming part owners and sharing in the profit of the company as a way to improve an inclusive economy in Nigeria.

“Financial inclusion contributes to business ethics in a number of ways which can be seen in the steps that the CBN has taken.

“They include the introduction of non interest banking, micro finance policy and electronic banking to bring more people into the financial system.

“Electronic banking activities which contribute to environmental sustainability are very traceable and help to increase the ethical culture and component of doing business in Nigeria, unlike cash.

“It promotes business ethics as it facilitates equitable access to economic opportunities and advances inclusive economic growth and not just Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth we often think is growth.

“We are talking about growth that is efficient in improving the efficiency of labour, in the context of being diversified across sectors, in the context of distributing the effects of economic growth between the wealthy and the poor,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr. Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) urged the organised business community to be more effective in their roles in combating corrupt practices.

Yusuf also appealed for more government reforms to adequately address and reduce corruption in the country.

He said that the more difficult it became to be ethical, the lesser the number of players in the formal sector. The LCCI director-general said corruption issues in the private sector were centered on smuggling, counterfeiting, piracy, under-invoicing, contract inflation, compromising due process, among others.

“All these create unfair competition detrimental to the development of the private sector. “Sometimes, when we talk about issues of corruption in the public sector, a lot of these things happen in agreement with the private sector.

“The private sector players should support government agencies with capacity, intelligence to engender an ethical, level playing field for businesses to thrive.

“We must push for regulatory reforms that address the atmosphere of corruption, promote free market principles and push for adequate remuneration of staff to address vulnerability to corruption,” he said.

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