600,000 MSMEs shutdown in one year, Says NASME
Over 600,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have shut down in Nigeria in the last one year, due to unfavourable business environments and other socioeconomic challenges, says the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).
The association disclosed this while addressing journalists ahead of its forthcoming 25th Anniversary Lecture and Awards Nights, scheduled for November 12, 2022, at the Ibom ICON Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The President and Chairman of, Governing Council of NASME, Dr. Abdulrashid Yerima, who said that MSMEs are critical to the country’s development, regretted that the survival of businesses has become the most difficult situation in the country today.
“The major challenge bedevilling MSMEs in Nigeria is power, which has negatively affected competitiveness.”
On her part, the Deputy President, South, Otunba Gbemi Oduntan, said the ease of doing business initiatives have not been reflected anywhere in the country, adding that the current flooding has also affected many farmers whose plantations have been submerged at a time of harvest.
While lamenting that the government was not talking about the plight of the farmers, she noted that before the flooding, there was a famine in the country, adding: “The current situation will no doubt aggravate food crisis.”
“Infrastructure is another challenge and multiple levies. They don’t want to call the multiple levies taxes, but they are taxes. For every state, there’s a levy to pay for the movement of goods. MSMEs have done advocacy to reduce taxes, yet nothing seems to have changed.”
The Vice President (South West Zone), Solomon Aderoju, who said before last year there were 4.1 million MSMEs in Nigeria, disclosed that the number has now reduced to 3.5 million. He identified the high cost of diesel, forex, influx of foreign products and lack of funding as factors killing businesses.
He rued the new interest rate by banks, which has moved from 14 per cent to 15.5 per cent, adding that socio-political challenges, environmental issues and corruption were killing businesses.
On the anniversary, Yerima said 84 recipients have been penned down for its MSME Impact Awards. He said the aim of the award is to stimulate entrepreneurship consciousness and reward innovation, creativity and hard work among Nigerians despite the odds.
Africa’s prominent business promoter, Mr. Tony Elemelu, CFR; Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State, Amb Maryam Yelwaji Katagum and the Dangote Foundation have been nominated for the Distinguished Impact Award by NASME.
Yerima said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, as Special Guest of Honour, would confer the awards on the recipients in Uyo. Mr Jean Bakole, the Country Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will be the Keynote Speaker.
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