Experts from various sectors have expressed serious concerns about the rapid decline of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

Experts Concerned About Decline of Nigerian MSMEs
Experts Concerned About Decline of Nigerian MSMEs

They attribute the challenges faced by these businesses to the country’s complex business environment, which often prevents them from thriving beyond five years.

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During a webinar hosted by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) with the theme “SMEs Challenges and Sustainability Strategies in an Inflationary Economy,” Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, President of LCCI, stressed the urgent need to find solutions to navigate the severe impacts of inflation and secure the future of MSMEs in Nigeria.

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Globally, MSMEs play a crucial role in driving innovation and economic growth. However, developing nations like Nigeria, often face early-stage failure due to a lack of sustainable business strategies. Olawale-Cole pointed out that Nigeria is home to over 36.9 million SMEs, constituting 96.7% of all businesses. He underscored that SMEs significantly contribute to the GDP and job creation, highlighting their critical role in economic prosperity and stability.

Despite their importance, MSMEs grapple with challenges such as limited access to finance, inadequate infrastructure, high input costs, and a challenging business environment exacerbated by inflation. The relentless price rise has significantly impacted SMEs, affecting their operations, profitability, and overall sustainability. However, with the right strategies and support, these businesses can continue to drive economic growth and create jobs.

Experts also emphasized the role of technology in SME growth, urging businesses to establish a robust online presence, embrace e-commerce, and leverage digital marketing. Additionally, they highlighted the significance of data analytics for informed decision-making and advocated for remote working and collaboration.

Regarding taxation, experts pointed out that many revenue agencies and taxes, along with non-state actors imposing illegal levies, hinder SME growth. They emphasized the need for a conducive operating environment, simplified tax regulations, and restored social trust to foster SME growth and survival.

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