Stories from Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Stakeholders are urging for improved power supply in the country, as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) operators spend huge sums on money on diesel.
President, LCCI, Remi Bello, confirmed that the power sector privatisation is yet to yield positive results, as according to him, businessmen, especially MSMEs, make huge expenditure on diesel and fuel as well as pay outrageous electricity bills for poor service.
Bello also said that delivery of containers and evacuation of cargo have become a terrifying experience for businesses, resulting in systemic traffic gridlock, paralysis of businesses, high demurrages, frequent accidents and risk to bridges and flyovers.
According to him, the Nigerian economy is still riddled with unfair competitions, arising from unbridled importation of consumer products, granting of underserved waivers to individual firms and evasion of import duty payment.
He said the idea of giving revenue targets to government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service often leads to unfair taxation and burdens on MSME investors.
“Reports reaching us indicate many instances of upward review of values of import in complete disregard to the values of invoices of such imports,” said Bello in Lagos, while urging a dramatic shift this year.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which is an interest rate benchmark from 12 to 13 percent, implying that business owners now have to pay more to gain credit access.
In a recent briefing on the state of the nation in Lagos, prepared by Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, president of the chamber, but read by Bassey Edem, deputy national president, NACCIMA, said the current lending rate is too high for any productive venture and has significant implication on the global competitiveness of Nigerian firms and their products, stressing that considerations should be given to businesses in this category if the nation is pursuing economic diversification.