‘Continued high mortality of small businesses in Nigeria, others worrisome’
Operators in the financial and real sectors of the economy have raised concerns over the challenges of doing business in Nigeria and other African countries, noting that the rising mortality rate of small businesses was worrisome.
The Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Gabriel Idahosa, stated that efforts were being intensified to check the trend through fairs and business networks.
Similarly, the Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc noted that over 60 per cent of businesses close down within their five years of operation.
Anele at a press conference organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) preparatory to the Lagos International Trade Fair scheduled to hold later this year, said it was a result of the high mortality rate that the bank would be featuring at the fair to avail businesses inclusive and sustainable banking services to support and grow the business community in the country.
Earlier, Idahosa, said the theme of this year’s fair tagged “Connecting businesses, creating value is expected to attract over 500,000 visitors and about 2000 exhibitors with over 200 foreign exhibitors from 16 countries.He said plans are underway to host African businessmen and women in the Africa hall to encourage continental trade integration for the benefit of member States.
In his words: “It is indeed heart-warming to note that the chamber supported the move for the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which will usher in competitive and comparative advantage among African countries.”
“With a market size of 1.2 billion people by population and nominal GDP of $2.2 trillion, we cannot but support this single biggest free trade deal.”
He noted that the fair is unarguably the biggest trade fair in Nigeria and indeed the West and Central African sub-region, pointing out this year’s edition will be the 33rd to be organised by the Chamber.
Anele stated: “We would be represented at the fair to avail consumers loan opportunities. We will be providing basic banking services, because we believe the fair is more like a pan-African trade fair. We have positioned ourselves to be a patent gateway for Africa and it was strategic we open different regions across Africa. What we have done is that if you have any account in any country UBA is present, you can access that account anywhere in the world.”
He added that the bank will be using the platform to grow both domestic and international trade, while also provides participants and visitors with veritable platforms to seal medium and top business deals.
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