Oloye Akin Alabi, the founder of Naira Bet and member of the House of Representative at National Assembly has spken on how he intend to bring his private sector wherewithal to bear at the Green Chamber.
Read full transcription of his interview with PREMIUM TIMES below:
“I am going to look at improving our economy from two angles. From the core legislative part, I am going to embark on constituency outreach because that is, basically, the work of the legislator. We are also looking at introducing some adjustments to some laws and policies that will encourage small businesses and medium scale businesses to thrive.”
“The reason is because I believe that if we talk about job creation, most people are not employed by the government. There is a limit to which government can employ people. We have a bloated wage and you would not be able to pay salaries even though public workers earn just a little percentage compared to top companies, like oil and gas firms, breweries and the top banks.”
“Most people work in the small and medium scale field. What government can do is to find a way for small businesses to start and to thrive. Now talking about starting, a lot of people their entire capital is N100,000. But to register a small business, either a limited liability company or just a one-man shop, is taking them tens of thousands of naira.”
“First, business names have to be free, they need to be done online, and ready in less than 24 hours. I registered a business in Rwanda, I registered businesses in other places online in 24 hours. The other part is we need to find a way to encourage the government to support these small businesses in terms of access to loans, access to credit facilities, even credit reporting.”
“Rating of credit of people is important because when you rate people, when people are creditworthy, then the banks would not find it difficult to loan them money because it is going to be easy to get the money back, They cannot run anywhere especially with the BVN in place. That is just another little part. Then for constituency outreach, we are talking about personally empowering small business owners in different ways. This includes consistent training that I have been doing for years in my personal capacity. Training, teaching them business concepts, business techniques, marketing lessons which we have seen testimonies already.”
We also have to support them financially because you can have all the practice, you can have everything, but you still need a bit of money to push it. We are going to make money available. Interest-free loans to qualified people who present their ideas, their small business. Look at my Egbeda Federal Constituency and you will see people selling Akara, moimoi, or fish whose entire capital is less than N100,000. Yet they still send kids up to tertiary level. You need to find a way of encouraging people like that with capital so there can be more productivity and education.”
“Now you know some of the ways I want to bring my business acumen into public service as a federal lawmaker,” he said.