The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released its ‘January 2020 Business Expectations Survey Report’ detailing the challenges affecting businesses in Nigeria.
The CBN, through its Statistics Department, listed high-interest rates of Nigerian banks as one of the many constraints preventing business growth within the country.
According to the regulatory body of the banking industry, the business environment in Nigeria has been challenging for companies due to unfavourable economic climate, insufficient power supply, financial problems, competition and high-interest rates, which have been a discouraging factor for small and medium enterprises in need of credit facility.
In a statement issued by CBN, it was disclosed that, “Respondent firms identified insufficient power supply (66.2 points), high-interest rates (57.1 points), unfavourable economic climate (54.6 points), and financial problems (52.8 points).
“Others are unclear economic laws (51.9 points), unfavourable political climate (46.3 points), competition (45.3 points) and insufficient demand (44.2 points) as major factors constraining business activity in the current month.”
The problem for ease of doing business: Basically, most companies in Nigeria power their electricity themselves through the use of generator. This is because the power supply has not been stable within the country, where about $12 billion is spent annually by businesses and individuals on generators. So, this affects their revenue and profit. Rather than investing their capital for the growth and expansion of the business, the firms are burdened with the power issue.
[READ MORE: CBN injects $218.41 million in SMIS)
Also, policy uncertainty has been a constraint for businesses because it creates unfavourable economic climate. The latest example is the ban on bike-hailing businesses in Lagos, which was announced months after the governor reiterated its commitment to regulating the bike-hailing market for efficiency.
Also, the Finance Act by the administration of President Muhammadu has been hindsight for many businesses and individuals.
Meanwhile, the high-interest rates have been a problem for businesses in Nigeria, as banks begin to use it to stabilise their revenue at a time banks’ other sources of revenue, like e-transaction charges, were slashed by the CBN.
The banks have been offering loans at high-interest rates, rendering the value of the loan insignificant for the debtor. Despite this, borrowing rates are expected to rise in the current month, next month and the next twelve months because businesses will always need capital to operate.
There’s still hope in the business environment: Despite the major constraints listed, companies are optimistic of expansion and employment in the coming month. According to the survey report, the employment outlook index by sector showed that the industrial sector had the highest prospect for employment in the next month, followed closely by the services sector, wholesale/retail trade sector and construction sectors.
While for expansion, the services sector indicates the highest disposition to expand, the wholesale/retail trade sector, the construction sector and the industrial sector also show the prospect of expansion in the next months. The optimism is faced by NECA’s projection that unemployment would increase to 33.5% in 2020, from 23.1% in 2019.
The CBN survey report also stated that the business environment expects improvements in economic conditions in the current month, next six months and next twelve months.
N1m up for grabs with Quickteller Business contest
To join in the contest, entrepreneurs are to post a 1-minute video of themselves explaining how N1 million will boost their businesses.
Interswitch has announced a virtual pitch tagged ‘Boost your business with Quickteller’ where one business owner has the opportunity to win N1 million cash. The promo is believed will help businesses signed onto the Quickteller Business platform boost their business further.
To contest for the prize money, business owners are simply required to complete their account activation on Quickteller Business and they stand a chance of winning.
To join in the contest, entrepreneurs are to post a 1-minute video of themselves explaining how N1 million will boost their businesses. The videos should be uploaded on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok or YouTube with the hashtag #boostwithquickteller. To submit an entry, business owners are required to paste their post’s URL in the video URL section of the entry form on the Quickteller Business site, share the entry with friends and family and invite them to vote.
They must register and activate their businesses on the Quickteller Business platform using the referral code ‘Boost’. Any entry without a referral code will be rendered invalid.
Speaking about the promo, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Interswitch noted that the promo is important to Interswitch as it helps business owners – not only to boost their businesses – but to provide solutions that addresses some of the pain points of business owners. “At Interswitch, we are committed to growing the business community by providing simple and scalable payment solutions because it is critical to their growth and essentially to the national economy at large,” she added.
The Quickteller Business platform provides seamless payment solutions for businesses and their customers. The platform is an intuitive and robust one that enables businesses of all sizes, small, medium, large, to take their businesses online even if they did not have prior technology infrastructure or website.
The top 10 entries with the highest votes by 11:59pm on Friday, April 30, 2021 will qualify to participate in the grand finale.
Apart from the numerous benefits enjoyed on the Quickteller Business platform, such as generating invoices to track sales and payments, customized storefront to display products and brand image, backend access to manage inventory, dispute management options to settle chargebacks and refunds, the platform further exposes its users to a ready market of over five million potential customers from Nigeria, Gambia and Kenya.
On the Quickteller Business platform, business owners can get paid by anyone, from anywhere without hassles. From massive corporations to smaller tech-savvy businesses, Quickteller Business makes payment easy for entrepreneurs and their customers.
About Quickteller Business
Quickteller business provides various payment tools for freelancers and small businesses operating without a website to receive payments easily. The platform seamlessly integrates with your existing website or store to provide various payment options.
Interswitch is a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Interswitch’s vision is to make payments a seamless part of everyday life in Africa, and its mission is to create transaction solutions that enable individuals and communities to prosper across Africa.
We began in 2002 as a transaction switching and electronic payments processing business, building and managing payment infrastructure, delivering innovative payments solutions and driving transactions across Nigeria and other African markets. We provide secure solutions and services that facilitate convenience and real value for consumers, businesses, governments and other organizations, helping to reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and drive sustainable revenue growth.
FG launches National Gender Steering Committee for Gender Policy in the agricultural sector
The policy document is a developmental strategy for poverty reduction and it is expected to empower small scale holder farmers who are predominately women.
The Federal Government has announced its inauguration of a National Gender Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Gender Policy in the Agricultural sector, in a bid to offer equal access and gender-sensitive approaches towards food production.
This was disclosed by Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, who inaugurated the Committee on Wednesday in Abuja.
“The initiative will promote and ensure the adoption of gender-sensitive responsive approaches, plans and programmes in such a way that men and women will have equal access and control of productive resources,” he said.
He added that availability of the policy document was expected to address the vulnerability of women to biases in the Agriculture sector, integrate gender perspectives in National Planning, create more jobs and financial empowerment for women, citing that the National Gender Policy in Agriculture was consistent with the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by World Leaders at the United Nations Summit in New York, USA, in September 2015.
Director, Special Duties in the Ministry, Mrs Fausat Lawal also stated that “Women, small scale holder farmers constitute about 70-80% of the agriculture labour force and they produced the bulk of food for domestic consumption.”
She added that the policy document is a developmental strategy for poverty reduction and it is expected to empower small scale holder farmers who are predominately women.
What you should know
- Female unemployment rate in Nigeria as of Q4 2020 increased to 35.2% from 31.6% recorded in Q2 2020. This is according to the recent labour force report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
- A total of 61.63 million women were in the working population (15 – 64 years of age) as of Q4 2020 accounting for 50.5% of the total working population. Only 30.15 million of these women were willing and able to work, which represents about 43.3% of the total labour force in the period under review.
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