BECANS Partners

BECANS Partners include:

Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for Better Business (ENABLE)

ENABLE helps Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) to improve their capacity to advocate effectively. These initiatives are all aimed at improving the business environment in Nigeria and include reforms of government policy, regulations, laws and licences.

ENABLE also works with the media, the government and research organisations to ensure they all play an effective role in supporting an enhanced business environment. ENABLE strengthens its advocacy services thorough its our support programmes. Each programme will involve four phases of engagement:

1. Discover - As a first ENABLE identifies the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of your organisation. To do this, ENABLE has developed a practical diagnostic toolkit that draws from best international practice.  At the end of this phase, we’ll be able to highlight some priority areas we recommend you could address to strengthen your association.

2. Identify -  ENABLE  can support your advocacy needs by providing you with technical advice whether in terms of capturing the views of your members, building a coalition around an advocacy issue, planning an effective campaign, engaging the media in a cost-effective way or creating a forum to discuss your concerns with the government in a productive and focused way.  In this phase, ENABLE develops the business case for the project together. We will encourage your organization to form a project team to focus resources on the intervention.

3. Develop - In this phase, the detailed implementation planning (resources, tasks, outputs, risk assessment etc.) will be discussed, developed and agreed by the project team.  ENABLE carefully define the ways in which we can support your organisation, agree on the measurable desired outcomes from the project, discuss and determine project risks, agree budget and support you in finalising your proposal.

4. Implement - Once the proposal has been approved, all parties to be engaged will be contracted.  The project team will track the budget against actual costs and measure progress based on pre-defined milestones.  The project implementation will also be evaluated to capture learnings. ENABLE is expected to provide assistance to BECANS  using these four phases.

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)

The NESG The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) was incorporated in 1996 as an independent, non-partisan, non-sectarian organization, committed to fostering open and continuous dialogue on Nigeria’s economic development. A registered private sector think tank established to facilitate and carry out all activities that lead to the implementation of acceptable policies for the economic growth and development of Nigeria. The aim of the NESG is to create an enabling environment conducive to good governance, responsible private sector investment and sustainable economic growth. The main priority of the NESG is to promote a private sector driven economic growth.

1.  The Nigerian Economic Summit Group is dedicated to achieving sustainable economic development, in the national interest, through responsible private sector initiative. To achieve this mission,          the NESG, employs different strategies:

2.  Facilitates, supports and anchors the Nigerian Economic Summit process (including the Policy Commission);

3.  Engages in other activities on its own or through mutually agreed collaboration with institutions (public or private), the development community in Nigeria, and others such as local and foreign          institutions/groups, and non-governmental organizations engaged in similar or relevant development activities; and

4.  Uses outputs from (2) above to support the NES process and the work of the Policy Commission;

The NESG Vision is to become: “Nigeria’s leading private sector think tank committed to the development of a modern globally competitive economy” Policy Commission

The Policy Commissions which are eight in number, are the structures through which sector/issue specific recommendations of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) are prioritized by a core group of stakeholders and followed up to ensure adoption and implementation by the relevant policy implementing agencies and/or stakeholder groups. These Policy Commissions meet regularly after the NES to review the recommendations, develop implementation priorities, and interface with relevant actors to ensure sustained follow up on implementation.

The NESG Secretariat serves as the organ for carrying out the NESG Ltd/Gte mission and strategies. It does so by collaborating with various private and public organs and by engaging in a network of alliances with relevant local and foreign institutions and organizations.

Membership of the NESG is made up of policy executives from progressive companies in the private sector and other similarly qualified leaders who are committed to national interest rather than any sectional, sectoral or other business interest.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's Global Development Network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. With operations in 166 countries, the UNDP is one of the principal global partners in development and poverty reduction. The UNDP spearheaded the declaration and adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (including the overarching goal of halving poverty by 2015), which today serve as benchmarks for measuring and assessing countries’ strides in improving the welfare of people in those countries. The UNDP help countries build and share solutions to the challenges of democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment and HIV/AIDS. It uses a number of instruments including the annual Human Development Report Publication. As a global organization with national approach, the UNDP has great potentials for affecting the lives of citizens of the countries of their operations.

In Nigeria, the UNDP has been actively involved with programmes aimed at improving the overall economic and governance environment in order to promote private sector growth, employment generation and poverty reduction. In 2005 for example, the UNDP in collaboration with the Nigerian government and other Development Partners initiated the SEEDS benchmarking exercise, a programme aimed at evaluating governance at the sub national levels. The exercise has been severally described as a landmark in the process to entrench good governance in Nigeria. UNDP has also been involved in several other sectoral development programmes like the Health Sector Reform, women empowerment and HIV/AIDS with the overall goal of improving human development indicators. It has also worked to promote business development and growth including the institutionalization of international best practices in government operations. One of the major operational modalities of the UNDP is active use of advocacy for reaching to the grassroots and government on major policy and governance issues.

The BECANS project is aimed at improving the business environment through research and advocacy. The research component of the work will involve direct interaction with key actors in the private and public sectors. The advocacy part of the work will lobby and canvass for improvements in the business environment.

The NEEDS/SEEDS provide the framework for poverty reduction in Nigeria. UNDP Nigeria is committed to the full implementation for the NEEDS/SEEDS, and identifies with the broad policy objectives of poverty reduction, private sector development and employment generation contained in the NEEDS/SEEDS. The BECANS project on the other hand, aims to provide a framework for critical analysis of the position of government including providing constructive alternatives for infrastructure development and institution of good governance to promote the aims of the NEEDS/SEEDS. As the UNDP is actively supporting governance and economic management reforms at the state level, this project will provide informational resources and other related statistical products that suit UNDP agenda in supporting advocacy. UNDP can also use the results and states’ profiles from the project as important bases for annual reviews and updates on reforms in focal states.

Central Bank of Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria currently functions under Decree No. 24 of 1991 (as amended in 1993, 1997, 1998 and 1999 and now an Act of the National Assembly). The Act charges the Bank with the overall control and administration of the monetary and financial sector policies of the Federal Government. To this effect, the statutory mandates of the CBN include the issuance of legal tender currency, maintenance of the country’s external reserves, safeguard of the international value of the legal tender currency, promotion of monetary stability and sound financial system in Nigeria and serving as banker and financial adviser to the Federal Government. The bank has the vision to be one of the most efficient and effective world's Central Banks in promoting and sustaining economic development and it works through effective, efficient and transparent implementation of monetary and exchange rate policy and management of the financial sector. The CBN is the regulator of the banking and financial services industry, formulates monetary policy for the government and regulates operations and services of the entire banking industry. As such, it is a critical stakeholder in macroeconomic stability. But in addition to formulating and monitoring financial services policies in the country, the Central Bank, just as in many other countries, render broader advisory and facilitative roles with the aim of maintaining macroeconomic stability. Under the project EAGLES currently being executed by the Bank, the major aim is to re-position the Central Bank to be able to fully implement this responsibility. CBN has a number of developmental programmes to improve non-oil private growth in Nigeria. They include the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, the Small and Medium Industries Equity Investment Scheme, the Interest Draw-Down Scheme and the Microfinance Policy.  The Central Bank also supports research and surveys to improve economic policy decisions. For example, in relation to its SMIEIS project, the CBN conducted a baseline survey of SMEs in Nigeria in 2004 aimed at analyzing the state of SMEs and challenges affecting their operations in the country. 

These efforts by the Central Bank aim to improve the state of the investment environment. However, state government policies and actions/inactions critically influence the bulk of the variables targeted by the Central Bank. Hence, the data and statistics generation efforts the Central Bank need to be complemented by private sector-led surveys. In this wise, this project will particularly complement CBN’s data and statistics from the 2004 baseline survey of SMEs in Nigeria. BECANS will produce state-level indicators that are critical to the effectiveness of macroeconomic policy, financial sector regulatory/supervision and development promotion functions of the CBN. Knowledge of the impact of subnational policies, institutions and regulations on the business environment and investment climate is essential to macroeconomic monitoring and policy reforms by the CBN.

CBN is expected to provide technical support to BECANS.  Being a member of the Project Advisory Committee and the Technical Working Group of the BECANS project, the Central Bank would deploy its research and survey experiences to the execution of the project.

National Planning Commission

The National Planning Commission is the key government agency charged with planning, coordinating and monitoring government policy and developmental programmes. The National Planning Commission developed and is centrally responsible for the implementation of the NEEDS. It also coordinates state governments’ efforts at developing and implementation the SEEDS as well as Local Governments’ design and implementation of the LEEDS. It monitors the activities of other central government agencies and prepares capital budgets in line with the macroeconomic policy thrusts of the central government. The National Planning Commission is also the agency for important inter-governmental coordination through such organs as the National Council on Development Planning and the Joint Planning Board. These bodies form the major channels for policy coordination and collaboration between the Federal Government and other tiers of government. Equally, as the host institution for office of the Economic Adviser to the President, the National Planning Commission occupies a unique place in economic decision making and implementation. In addition, the National Planning Commission is the parent body for such vital statistical and research agencies as the National Bureau of Statistics, the Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research and the National Databank.

As a key planning agency, the output from the BECANS project will feed into the planning functions of National Planning Commission. The results and data emanating from the work will give a critical overview of the state of business regulatory and facilitating institutions among the component states of the federation and could become a major inventory source for the activities and planning responsibility of the National Planning Commission. As a coordinating body, the National Planning Commission makes direct input into state government administrations and interacts with state functionaries to chart the overall direction of policy at that tier of government.  As such, the project will be a critical source of information for the NPC to improve inter-governmental coordination of policies and reform efforts.

The NPC will also serve as a major platform to disseminate the project objectives, purpose, results and findings. It would sensitize state governments on the project and expected outputs. Similarly, it would facilitate the sensitization and enlightenment of government agencies to understand and support the project. Equally, data from the BECANS will complement economic and social statistics produced by parastatals under the NPC (for example, the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research). In this direction, BECANS will provide complementary data resources for nation-wide policy appraisals and monitoring by the National Planning Commission.

National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME)

NASME is an important private sector organisation in Nigeria. It brings together small- and medium-scale enterprises from across the country. It is devoted to networking, capacity building, policy advocacy and promotion of the performance of its member firms and operators. As in the case of MAN, NASME is a key end user of the product of the BECANS project. Almost all the members of NASME fall into the group of firms mostly affected by poor infrastructure provision and maintenance, weak legal and regulatory framework, and irregular institutional provisions for good governance. Member firms of NASME face the daily challenge of operating under unsupportive macroeconomic environment in almost all the states of Nigeria. As an interest group, NASME consistently works to improve the welfare of its members. This necessitates advocacy on both policy actions and outcomes. Often, the group is called upon to make inputs into policy.

Currently in Nigeria, majority of businesses operating in the states, with the exception of a few states with large scale industries, are small and medium enterprises. As such, majority of the ultimate beneficiary of improved business environment would be small and medium enterprises, and mainly member firms of NASME. As such, the Association stands to benefit immensely from the research and advocacy programme. As in the case of many other collaborating institutions on this project, the database and reports that would be generated from the BECANS project would be a valuable resource material for the advocacy work of NASME. Also it would be able to advise its members more knowledgably on the prevailing investment environment of the different states of the country and the implications of such environments for their operations.

As a membership organisation, NASME would sensitise mobilize its members and the entire business community to participate in the project as well as use the output for its advocacy programmes. Analysis and publications from the project will be used by NASME for business environment and competitiveness enlightenment and policy engagement with its members and state governments respectively. It will provide sensitization and facilitation for survey and data collection the project in the states. NASME is a member of the Project Advisory Committee. State Chapters of NASME will serve as members of the Stakeholder Contact Groups in the various states.

Human Rights Law Services (HURILAWS)

 HURILAWS is a public policy think-tank working in partnership with multi-sector development and change actors to promote accountable and transparent governance as well as criminal justice reform in Nigeria. HURILAWS started in 1997 as a specialist provider of human rights legal services and purveyor of skills in the legal aspects of transition management. Today, HURILAWS is also a public policy think-tank working in partnership with multi-sector development and change actors to promote accountable and transparent governance in Nigeria. HURILAWS holds Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

HURILAWS advances human rights in Nigeria using the following tools, among others:

Strategic Impact (test case) Litigation

Legislative and Media Advocacy

Legal Aid/Assistance

Research and Publication

HURILAWS is a leading non-governmental organisation in Nigeria. It is a member of the Better Business Initiative and has actively engaged in policy analysis and advocacy for a better business environment in Nigeria. It has previously conducted analysis and advocacy in the areas of property rights, land registration, alternative dispute resolution, reform of credit systems and business regulatory systems in Nigeria. HURILAWS will bring its experience and resources in advocacy and civic engagement to bear on the project. Information and resources from the project will also enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of HURILAWS to advocate for institutional reforms that will improve the business environment.

As a member of the Project Advisory Committee, HURILAWS will provide support to survey and data collection through its networks throughout the country and will bring its development work experience to bear on the design of the project. It will also provide communication and dissemination services support to the project within the NGO community and link the study to the NGO community, facilitating the utilization of the results and findings for NGO advocacy throughout the country. HURILAWS will actively participate in designing the state level communication and advocacy strategy.

Manufacturer’s Association of Nigeria (MAN)

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) formed in 1971, is a national industrial association serving and representing nearly 2000 companies in private and public sectors in manufacturing, construction and service sectors of the national economy. With its Corporate Headquarters in Lagos, a liaison office at Abuja and branches scattered around the entire country, MAN is a veritable umbrella for coordinating the interests of manufacturers. Through its representative membership, the Association serves as collation point for the views and reactions of manufacturers on matters of socio-economic importance. The Association consults and engages with government and other bodies on matters that affect its members. MAN provides a platform for formulating, advocating and influencing general policy in regard to industrial, labour, technical, social, legal and training matters that affect its members. It works also to promote the contributions of manufacturers to the growth and development through direct representation and tries to encourage high standard of quality of members’ products through the collection and circulation of useful information and the provision of advice.

To effectively execute its mandate, MAN offers some specialized and general services to both its members and the public. In particular, as an advocacy group, MAN is continuously involved in the preparation, documentation and dissemination of data and other information on the state of the economy. MAN monitors and analyzes government policies and often employ core and policy oriented research to deliver on its mandates. It also develops capacity building programmes for its members and offers investment and financial advisory services to its members. In relation to both its services to its members and the overall goal of MAN in making positive contributions to economic growth in the country, the BECANS project will provide enlarged platform for MAN to conduct its advocacy and improve on its database. Specifically,

The structure and mandate of the MAN demands it protects the interest of its members and offer advisory services to them. The BECANS project on the other hand is dedicated to improving on the business environment through rigorous enquiry into the nature of the business environment and advocacy to relevant stakeholders and policy making groups on improving facilitative roles and services to business groups.  As such, MAN stands to benefit immensely from the BECANS project as the latter will first provide a databank (and a wealth of information) on the state of the business environment throughout the country. MAN currently has six publications – the MAN Information Brochure, Annual Report, Half-Yearly Economic Review, MAN News (a quarterly publication), Nigeria Industrial Directory and MAN Newsletter (a monthly publication). These are all aimed at disseminating information on the state of the investment environment to its members and other stakeholders in the industrial sector. Through the BECANS survey and analyses, MAN will be able to enrich the information available in its publications and thereby provide better enlightenment, investment guide and more informed advisory services to both local and foreign investors.

The Manufacturers’ Association engages government in advocacy. Such advocacy often involves the demand for improvement in the business environment and of policies affecting manufacturers. But for the greater part of the time, MAN’s advocacy has paid more attention to activities and policies at the Federal Government level. The BECANS project (survey and advocacy) will provide MAN a unique opportunity to understand policies at the state level better and make them more able to reach to policymakers at the state level with greater information on means to improve the policy environment

With representation in the board of over 21 government parastatals directly charged with service provision and implementation of government policies, MAN has a unique advantage of influencing both policy decisions and implementation alternatives. To be effective, it needs the complementation of evidence based research output. The BECANS project provides MAN with both research evidence and an improved platform for advocacy and constructive inputs into policy at all levels of government

MAN would provide sensitization and facilitation for survey and data collection the project in the states through its member institutions and would use the results and published findings to engage and dialogue with state governments for improved business environment. MAN is a member of the he Project Advisory Committee while state chapters of MAN will be included in the Stakeholder Contact Group that will anchor the advocacy using the results and findings from the project.