Oyindamola Adeyemi, Executive Chairperson of Still Earth Holdings, the multi-sector diversified group, has advocated for the formulation and implementation of sound pro-business policies and incentives that promote an enabling environment for businesses to thrive as key factors for building a stronger economy under the incoming administration.
Speaking at The Economist’s The World Ahead 2023 release event, Adeyemi in her address touched on the resilience of the Nigerian economy, as demonstrated by a moderate GDP, propelled by the improved performance of non-oil sectors such as agriculture, the service industry, and construction. However, she also pointed out that the economy has yet to achieve the expected bounce-back rate, primarily due to inflation and other disruptions in the economy, including the contraction of the oil and gas sector resulting from low output.
“The Nigerian economy has remained resilient with moderate GDP growth post-pandemic period, albeit below expectation with a spiraling inflationary rate. The non-oil sectors have continued to contribute positively, driven by agriculture, service industries, and construction while oil and gas contracted due to low outputs,” Adeyemi said at The World Ahead 2023. She also expressed optimism that Nigeria’s economy could experience a stronger rebound after the election and is advocating for the formulation and implementation of the right policies.
Adeyemi is confident about the role of Still Earth Holdings in contributing to the country’s post-election economic growth. She emphasized that the Group, with its diversified portfolios in construction, oil and gas, and finance, is uniquely positioned to drive the national economy forward. Through innovative solutions that promote resilience and sustainability, the Group continues to support businesses and enterprises in various segments, positively impacting the economy.
In highlighting Still Earth Holdings’ contributions to the petroleum and energy sectors, Adeyemi emphasized the critical role of the subsidiary, Tirex Petroleum and Energy, in providing cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions that enhance the efficiency of local oil exploration and production processes, ultimately boosting Nigeria’s global competitiveness in the sector.
Moreover, Still Earth Capital Finance has been at the forefront of promoting financial inclusion and driving economic growth in Nigeria. Adeyemi highlighted that the company has been supporting the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by providing them with access to credit facilities that enable them to expand their businesses and generate income. She also emphasized in her address that Still Earth Capital Finance is committed to crafting innovative and tailor-made financial products that meet the unique needs of its clients, ensuring that they have access to an improved quality of life.
Continuing, Adeyemi emphasized the importance of infrastructure stating that in order “to build a resilient framework for an economic development, we need to consider the centrality of adequate infrastructure,” She highlighted the opportunities in this area and noted that Still Earth Construction and Realty has been a leading force in promoting eco-friendly and sustainable materials to reduce the carbon footprint of its projects. The company’s commitment to quality and sustainability has earned it a reputation as one of Nigeria’s top construction firms, and its contributions to the economy are significant.
Adeyemi went on in her address to emphasize the importance of a growth-oriented mindset among policymakers and private sector players to attract local and international investors to Nigeria and increase the risk appetite of the business sector. She advocated for increased funding for MSMEs, especially for women, to accelerate growth, which she believes is the engine of socioeconomic development and job creation. She noted, “as a female-led Nigerian success story, I believe Still Earth Holdings is an indicator of what women can achieve. More women can contribute significantly to the country and continent development with suitable investment and equitable opportunities for females and female-led MSMEs.”
However, Adeyemi also noted that inadequate infrastructure, limited access to credit, insecurity, foreign exchange shortages, low foreign direct investment, and climate change are critical factors that must be addressed by the incoming government. These issues require urgent attention to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and contribute significantly to the country’s economic development.
Advocating for business participation in development, Adeyemi added: “Across Africa, as corporate leaders we must continue to be community-minded and inclusive. Through our social responsibility programmes, Still Earth Holdings has made notable contributions to education and community development; and supporting foundations for cultural exchanges and creative research. We have also contributed to reducing delinquency, child labour and ending poverty by improving access to education for indigent students.”
In advocating further for a society that fosters socio-economic equity, the female entrepreneur emphasized partnership with the private sector as an important factor and appealed to the incoming administration to prioritize the creation of an enabling policy environment to attract more private sector investment.
“One thing I want to leave with you all is that the future is partner-driven. The broader private sector-led growth strategy across all sectors will benefit the nation immensely. The role of business leaders is critical in creating jobs, reducing unemployment, and establishing the conditions necessary for our enterprises to thrive,” she stated. Her address at the event also reinforced her interview titled “Diversified Growth Awaits Nigeria” in the recently published edition of the future-gazing annual by The Economist The World Ahead 2023.
Oyindamola Adeyemi is a notable figure within the Nigerian business ecosystem and a celebrated female leader. As a thought leader, she is a major voice on national economic development.