Stakeholders in the business sector are urging the Federal Government (FG) to institute policies that facilitate the expansion of family-owned enterprises beyond their founders. This plea was voiced during a recent one-day summit held in Lagos by “My Family, My Business” in collaboration with Businessday newspaper. The summit highlighted that 70 percent of businesses in developed economies are family-run, responsible for generating 60 percent of total employment opportunities.
Addressing Economic Challenges:
Given Nigeria’s substantial reliance on imports, which has led to a surge in costs and subsequent inflation, bolstering support for businesses holds the promise of creating significant job prospects for the country’s burgeoning youth population.
The Perspective of the Convener:
Ogenevwoke Ighure, the convener of the conference, emphasized the global prevalence of family-owned businesses, with 70 percent of the world’s largest companies falling into this category. They are pivotal in providing livelihoods, accounting for 60 percent of global employment. Ighure emphasized the imperative for a forward-thinking government to champion the cause of these enterprises, underscoring the presence of speakers from the Nigerian Economic Council and the Special Advisor to the President on Ease of Doing Business.
Guidance from Industry Experts:
Mr. Idowu Thompson, Group Executive of Private Banking and Wealth Management at First Bank of Nigeria, shared crucial insights for founders. He stressed the importance of early involvement of the next generation, advocating for a structured apprenticeship approach. While encouraging their participation, Thompson recommended introducing them gradually to the core operations, and even providing experiences outside of the family’s primary business.
He also emphasized the value of exposure, suggesting short courses and basic financial education, including bookkeeping. Finally, he underscored the significance of imparting moral values related to wealth, emphasizing that the heirs should understand their role as custodians for the future.
Supporting family-owned businesses through well-crafted policies is not only an economic imperative but also a means to secure sustainable employment opportunities for the youth. This collaborative effort between stakeholders and the government can lay the foundation for a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria.