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How Accenture has been growing businesses in Nigeria—-Yusuf

Leading business development services providers; Accenture Nigeria has opened up on its core values and key contributions to the development of businesses in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer and Country Director of Accenture Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yusuf said “As part of our corporate citizenship initiative, we have what we call Skills to Succeed (S2S), which focuses on two major things – training young people to become employable and training business people to be able to upscale and begin to do well in their businesses through training in business planning, book keeping, packaging, among others”.

In an interview in Lagos, Yusuf said “Accenture also mobilises people, partners, clients and others and strives to make a measurable and sustainable difference in the economic vitality and resilience of individuals, families and communities”.

“For instance, every year for the last three years, we supported Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to mentor and train 50 SMEs every year, acting as a mentor for young SMEs.

“Accenture provides capacity building to young SMEs to allow them do their business better while helping the job seeking ones gain requisite employable skills.

Talking about how to revamp Naira, Accenture chief executive said the exchange rate issue is a problem of supply and demand and because we do not earn enough forex, the supply is lower than its demand.

“Talking about increasing the supply of forex, we are supposed to make the position of the CBN clear that you can bring in forex to invest in Nigeria and you will not have any problem taking it out when you want to repatriate your dividends to your home country. Also, government can take low interest multilateral loans. These strategies could be seen as immediate first aid before we start talking about attracting long term Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) because as we know, FDI looks for an area of high returns and acceptable risks and so that may take a while to come.

Another easy way of getting these funds is assets sale but we need to look at what should be sold, how it should be sold and who it should be sold to. These are the key issues that would ensure that we achieve desired result. But fundamentally, selling what you have to get what you want is an old principle.

Yusuf said government needs to find means of increasing supply and reducing the demand for foreign exchange.

According to him, “Another means of reducing foreign exchange demand is the promotion of the consumption of made-in-Nigeria goods and services. For instance, a US official on official trips will only fly the US airlines if that ticket will be purchased by the US government; this reduces their import volume and strengthens the US dollar. So we need to promote patronage for our own products and services as a way of reducing demand for foreign exchange”.

“As we all know, government everywhere is a big spender; in the US, there is what they call Small Business Administration (SBA), which basically functions towards increasing the viability of small businesses by ensuring that 23 per cent of prime federal contracts are given to small businesses.

“Nigeria can domesticate this policy as a way of encouraging operation of indigenous local industries and promoting buy Nigeria.

Structurally, it is about increasing our level of self-sufficiency in some critical sectors and in effect, lowering our demand for foreign exchange.