The coronavirus outbreak hindered the running of around 74.2% of Nigerian businesses, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said.
Taiwo Adeniyi, NECA’s acting President, made the observation at a press briefing held Thursday to announce the outcome of a survey carried out by the association to measure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.
“The outcome of the research showed, among others, that 74.2 per cent of surveyed enterprises have stopped operating due to COVID-19, while 15.8 per cent are either fully on-site or teleworking.
“Over 90 per cent of surveyed enterprises noted that limited cash flow was an impediment to operations and over 90 per cent stated that demand for their goods and services had significantly reduced,” he said.
The survey revealed that 78.2% of enterprises faced supply challenges as supply was unable to fulfill orders.
Mr Adeniyi lauded the government for steps taken to contain the virus’ spread and for coming up with fiscal and monetary measures aimed at lessening the pandemic’s impact on businesses.
He observed that the job retention programme proposed by NECA should have been accorded due consideration in order to curb the growing unemployment rate during the period of the pandemic.
The NECA boss enjoined the Nigerian government to consider a long-term strategic support for organised businesses that will enhance a sustained economic recovery.
Similarly, the association recommended the passage of a bill that would address the gaps in the oil and gas sector.
“Privatisation of the existing three refineries would further free the economy of billions of naira spent on annual turn around maintenance of a facility that could not run up to 30 per cent capacity and generating less than 15 per cent of its expected revenue annually,” Adeniyi said.
He stressed the significance of implementing the Oronsaye Report as well as the institutionalisation of operational efficiency and cutting down of expenditure in the long term.
“Congestion due to poor port and associated transport infrastructure created losses of N3.5trn last year at Nigeria’s maritime logistic hubs, according to a March 2019 report by a research group, African Centre for Supply Chain.
“These losses are set to increase as the population expands and economic growth continues,” he added.