The COVID-19 pandemic, the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products and high inflation rate in Nigeria and a surging global economic crisis have put a strain on businesses. Justice Nwafor writes that only a better economy and environment would ensure that businesses in Nigeria don’t go under.
THE peculiarities of the business operating environment in Nigeria are common knowledge but concerns are mounting that a bad situation is suddenly turning worse, owing to extraneous factors such as the development in Eastern Europe, which has mounted pressure on the prices of fuel including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known as petrol, and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) also called diesel, and aviation fuel.
The harsh reality is that the few small-scale businesses trying to stay afloat, having not fully recovered from the consequence of the COVID-19-fueled recession, might be contemplating winding down, unless something critical is done to mitigate it. Many posit that this might also pose a security risk to the country considering the critical role and contributions of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector to the Nigerian economy.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, SMEs contribute over 50 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and also account for over 80 percent of employment in the country.