Over 74.2% of organised businesses in the country risk being pushed into extinction as part of the long-term economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said.
Taiwo Adeniyi, Acting President of NECA, who pointed this out at a mid-year economic review conference at the weekend in Lagos, argued that the subsequent collapse of international oil prices were destabilising Nigeria’s macroeconomic balances.
He warned that the macroeconomic implications of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 would be severe on the sustainability of organised businesses in the nation’s economy that were basically left by the government to weather the challenges alone.
He said: “With the view of gauging the specific impact of COVID-19 on businesses to aid our advocacy efforts, we had conducted a research into the effects of the pandemic on businesses. The outcome of the research showed, amongst others, that 74.2% of surveyed enterprises have stopped operating due to COVID-19, while 15.8 percent are either fully on site or teleworking.
“Over 90% of surveyed enterprises noted that limited cash-flow was an impediment to operations and over 90% stated that demand for their goods and services had significantly reduced. The disruption of supply chains resulted in 78.2% of enterprises having supply challenges as suppliers were unable to fulfil orders.
“While we commend these efforts, we wish to state with concern that organised businesses were basically left in the lurch to weather the challenges alone. With many businesses closed down and many others on the verge of bankruptcy, we had urged government to give attention and support to businesses to ensure their survival and competitiveness.
“With unemployment rate soaring 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 would be given adequate consideration; this was never the case. (Daily Independent)