The Nigerian customs service has emerged as a major hindrance for the growth or SMEs in Nigeria according to a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report.
According to the EIU:
“To support greater productivity gains, attention must now turn to simplifying the tax system, reducing import barriers, stabilising macroeconomic policy and building a more transparent customs system.”
Other key findings from the EIU include:
- Light-rail infrastructure and port development are critical to support Nigeria’s commercial ecosystem, and should be prioritised at a time of fiscal consolidation.
- Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are at the heart of SME businesses— stimulating productivity, helping overcome tough operating environments and opening up new markets.
- Nigeria has the ingredients for a vibrant solar energy market, including a sunny climate and unmet consumer need. Nigeria’s privatisation of the power sector holds promise for fixing the country’s energy supply, but its impact will not be felt in the near term.
- To boost formal financing, SMEs must improve their book-keeping and corporate structures, and banks need to hire more SME business experts to inform lending decisions.
I hope someone is listening in the Buhari economic team as SMEs constitute over 90 percent of Nigerian businesses, according to data from the Federal Ministry of Finance.