By Esenvosa Izah
Research reveals that 74.2 per cent of businesses in Nigeria stopped operating due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The research was conducted by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).
Its Acting President, Taiwo Adeniyi, made the disclosure at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Adeniyi said that 15.8 per cent of businesses were either fully on site or tele-working.
“Over 90 per cent of surveyed enterprises noted that limited cash-flow was an impediment to operations and over 90 per cent that demand for their goods and services had significantly reduced.
“The disruption of supply chains resulted in 78.2 per cent of enterprises having supply challenges as suppliers were unable to fulfill orders,’’ he said.
He commended government at all levels for the efforts so far made to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.
According to him, the introduction of fiscal and monetary measures to ameliorate the impact (of COVID-19) on businesses and save the economy from further collapse was commendable.
He, however, noted with concern that organised businesses were basically left to face challenges.
“With many businesses closed down and many others on the verge of bankruptcy, we have urged government to give attention and support to businesses to ensure their survival and competitiveness.
“With unemployment rate soaring high pre-COVID-19 and reaching an alarming rate during the pandemic period, it was expected that necessary Job Retention Scheme as proposed by our association will be given adequate consideration.
“This was never the case.
“As full economic activities are on the brink, we, once again urge government to take a second look at long term strategic support for organised businesses to enable an accelerated and sustained economic recovery,’’ he said.
Adeniyi called for a coordinated approach by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Inland Revenue Service and other agencies for effective implementation of fiscal and monetary policies.
“These policies should ordinarily complement each other for the development of the national economy, rather than create bottlenecks for investment and business growth”, he reasoned.