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Recession: Small Business Owners Recount 2020 Ordeal |LAGOS EYE NEWS

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The year 2020 has been a difficult year for Nigeria, and it’s citizens. The Nigeria people earlier battled with lockdown over the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and now faced another challenge as the economy slipped into its second recession in five years after the gross domestic product contracted the second consecutive quarter.

On this heel of the worst time in Nigeria as businesses recovered from lockdown, the government of Nigeria suddenly shocked people with fuel increment, and hike in the electricity tariff which had made a rising inflation, and unemployment, insecurity and social tensions elevated.

Recall, the National Bureau of Statistics on November 21, announced that the nation recorded a contraction of 3.62 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.

The country had earlier recorded a 6.10 per cent contraction in the second quarter. This indicated that It was the nation’s second recession since 2016 and the worst economic decline in almost four decades.

However, Nigerian small business owners recounted their experience as the economy nosedive and the ease of doing business became a struggle affair ranging from transportation, agriculture to petty traders on the streets.

Akinwale Abiola, a Transporter in Lagos reacted as quoted “The leaders keep inflating the price of fuel on the daily basis. Nothing has changed because I don’t understand the way President Buhari is running the affairs of this country. We the transporters are on the losing side because we don’t know what to charge the passengers from Lagos to Benin. Before we charged #3,500 but now if we increase the fares the passengers will be complaining.

The year 2020 as been the toughest year due to Coronavirus and most especially as dollar rate had affected the cost of materials in making shoes. The importer increase price for materials and customers are not ready to abide with the new price we are giving them. We make a slipper at the rate of N 1500 — N 2000 but now the price is thrice higher. The inflation rises in Nigeria has been a difficult task we are facing right now as a business entrepreneur, says Olufemi Keji, a Cobbler/Shoe Consultant.

Similarly, Mrs Olusola Ajiboye, added that the inflation in Nigeria affected her beverages business as it has reduced the purchasing power of the customers. “The economy nosedive in Nigeria really affects my business. The cost of goods is very high also the cost of transporting the goods is very high due to the fuel price hike.

“The customers are not ready to buy at the higher price because it will reduce their total profit. For instance, I recently found out that even my so-called regular customers now goes around from one shop to another to see if they can get the lowest price available. My Customers that normally buy Ten packs now settles for Five or Six packs. A customer buys Ten packs pay for 6 and the remaining Four packs will be on credit.

“We have a bad government in Nigeria as they do not consider the lower citizens whenever they decide on the policy of the country. As a businessman, I haven’t recovered from the coronavirus lockdown not it’s the fuel hike the president push to us. Everything is on the high side.

For now, I have not been able to stock my shop with goods as the dollar rate to naira goes up. President Buhari and his economic team should make the policy conducive for the Medium Scale Entrepreneur to thrive in Nigeria. We hope the coming year will be better, says Olasupo Seye, an Electronic Dealer.

Therefore, for the government to make life better for the Nigerians, Mr Dele Solomon opined that “the government’s economic recovery and growth plan should start to tackle some of the challenges facing the economy through convergence in foreign exchange windows by reducing the number of existing exchange rates in the economy, narrowing of the parallel market premium, improving tax administration, boosting anti-corruption efforts, and making significant strides in improving the business environment.

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