Mr Andrew Uviase is the Managing Partner of Ecovis OUC (Chartered Accountants), a leading consulting firm that specialises in tax, accounting, auditing and compliance services. In this interview, he speaks on why the policies of the federal government on forex unification and subsidy will boost Nigeria’s economy if properly harnessed, the significance of rebranding and the benefits it holds for the business community and clients.
What is your assessment of the current administration in terms of its handling of economic matters?
Quite frankly, 100 days is too short in the life of an administration to be able to correctly assess the impact of its policies.
However, we can say that so far so good. We must commend the bold steps taken by the current administration thus far in the area of fuel subsidy removal, the inauguration of tax reform committee and the foreign exchange liberalisation policies. We believe that if the policies are properly managed and implemented, the economy will soon begin an upward swing.
Several economic agents appear to be worried about the forex market, especially considering the apparent fall in the value of the naira. What do you think is wrong and what can be done?
I think the policy of the current administration is to allow market forces of demand and supply to determine the value of the naira.
Theoretically, market forces are the most suitable mechanism for allocating scarce resources and for correcting distortions in the forex market. However, this position rests on a critical assumption of many economic agents on both the demand and supply sides. That is the assumption of perfect competition.
What are the implications of the removal of fuel subsidy on the Nigerian economy?
This is one of the best things that have happened to the economy in recent times. The removal has in the short-term freed resources for the government at various levels to run the country. In the long term, it will also help us to channel resources to the more productive sectors of the midstream/ downstream subsectors of the oil and gas industry.
However, it has created inflationary pressures and general difficulties in the country. Sometimes, I tend to believe that it would have been better to address the supply side by fixing the refineries before removing the fuel subsidy. This is so because what we have now is more difficult to manage.
Overall, how do you think that the challenges of development can be overcome in Nigeria?
Personally, I tend to think that the greatest impediment to our development is a lack of discipline. Specifically, we must return to the discipline of planning where there is a deliberate effort to set quantifiable targets over a given period of time. More so, government must be seen as a continuum when an incoming government sees the policies and programmes of its predecessor as national matters that must be driven to a logical conclusion.
Historically, we can see that the greatest developments in the country happened during the period of development plans in the 70’s.
What is the significance of Kreston OUC’s transformation into Ecovis OUC for the Nigerian business community?
Certainly, this transformation marks a pivotal moment for the Nigerian business landscape. By adopting the name Ecovis OUC, we align ourselves with the global Ecovis network, renowned for its continental European heritage and exceptional expertise and service delivery. This transition brings together international excellence with local insights, offering Nigerian businesses unparalleled consulting services tailored to their unique needs and challenges.
What benefits can Nigerian businesses expect from this rebranding?
The benefits are manifold. Firstly, our integration into the Ecovis network grants Nigerian businesses access to a wealth of international expertise, while retaining the advantage of local insights. This ensures a seamless navigation of both global and local intricacies.
Secondly, our bespoke solutions cater comprehensively to businesses of all sizes, addressing, fiscal, managerial and administrative concerns. Moreover, the personalized consultation we provide, supported by a network of over 10,000 experts worldwide, ensures clients receive well-rounded solutions for their distinct challenges.
Could you shed light on Ecovis OUC’s approach to personalized consultation?
At Ecovis OUC, we believe that the best ideas are born through dialogue. That is why we prefer to talk with our clients face-to-face and partner with them.
In business, be it national or international, success depends on having a partner you can deal with, working at the same level and with an extensive understanding of your concerns and opportunities.
Your personal advisor at Ecovis is himself an experienced business person. Together, you share a common bond on which trust and mutual respect are developed, which allows your business to reach its full potential.
How does Ecovis OUC’s transformation impact businesses on a local level?
The transformation to Ecovis OUC presents Nigerian businesses with a distinct “home advantage.” Operating in over 80 countries, including Nigeria, we are poised to offer immediate international and local support.
Whether yours is an established international business dealing with cross-border issues, a family-owned company, the branch of a major corporation or a government organisation, ECOVIS is at your side wherever your business takes you.
With Ecovis, you will always have a home advantage. Being there means less communication hassle and increases our understanding of your special situation.
Our mission is to empower Nigerian businesses to excel on both local and global fronts. By uniting international expertise with local insights, we equip businesses with the tools to surmount challenges and seize opportunities. Whether it’s tax consultation, accounting, auditing, or compliance advice, Ecovis OUC is committed to delivering comprehensive solutions that foster growth and success.