We have to start by examining what the business environment looks like because creating funds for a business means that money must go into business. In public relations, we talk about the five pillars of business which are the growth, the survival, the profitability, the employee satisfaction, and the corporate social responsibility, otherwise known as the social investment. So, profitability may appear to drive all the other elements because, without profit, a business cannot grow; without profit how can you survive? Without profit, how can you satisfy your employees? Without profit how can you engage in social investment?
The operational characteristics of the Nigerian business environment are tedious; there is a case of high tariffs in the power sector and the recent increase in the pump price of petrol. In the power sector, despite what investors pay, the services are hardly available alongside the multiple level taxation that we have in the country. Recently, the value-added tax was increased from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and several border issues are making it difficult to do business in Nigeria.
Rather than bringing in their resources here, even organizations that were doing business in Nigeria, have had to relocate to other countries because of the better business environment. If we want to attract foreign direct investment, the environment must be right for it because it is not easy to get money, coupled with the fact that we do not have a single-digit interest and inflation rates. Several other issues are making it unattractive for investors to bring in their money here because at the end of the day, as they say in the business community, it is all about the bottom line.