LAGOS – A financial analyst, Prof Fidelis Odita, said on Monday that the nation might lose N200 billion annually due to the bottlenecks associated with the registration and practice of businesses in Nigeria.
Odita told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that dearth of infrastructure, lack of access to funds, and the time it takes to start up a business had hindered the growth of small scale businesses.
He said that the Federal Government should work harder to ensure a follow-up system on the policies, formulated for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to further enhance their growth.
“I think if the government were to get its acts together, it could very easily boost the economy by up to 30 to 40 per cent if they address policies for SMEs.
“It is not only about having Bank of Industry or Nigerian Export Import (NEXIM) Bank, no.
“There are many regulatory bottlenecks, which create huge operating costs for these businesses. I know of cases where people have applied for consent to the Federal Government for over twelve months they haven’t heard anything.
“So, if you wanted to set up a small business here and you haven’t been able to get consent, it means that there has been a twelve months delay.
“And during that time, you might have hired people, and you would now have to lay some of them because no one budgets that you will stay for twelve months waiting for one person just to say I consent, go ahead with your business.
”I would say that Nigeria would be losing N200 billion annually from these regulatory bottlenecks and the attendant consequences.’’
Odita said that SMEs provided employment for 80 per cent of the nation`s work force, while multinational companies, government, and private concerns accounted for only 20 per cent. (NAN)