By: Alfred Ajayi
An entrepreneur, Mr. Obiora Obuekwue, says 2023 was a very rough and unfriendly year for businesses and investments in the country.
Mr. Obuekwue lamented the high interest rate on loans, which made it almost impossible for the manufacturing sector to survive.
“Most times, you cannot make both ends means. After deducting the cost of running the business from money generated, you have little or nothing left to pay high interest rate. So, many business outfits could not even take the loan.”
He decried the increasing cost of running business in the country which he attributed to subsidy removal and the steady fall in the value of naira. “The High cost of diesel also killed business in 2023 because of increases in the cost of doing business.”
“For many Nigerian households, it is currently difficult to run the home fronts as school fees keep increasing astronomically,” Obuekwue lamented even as he expressed dissatisfaction with increasing taxes, rates and levies imposed on businesses by different tiers of government.
He also bemoaned the deplorable conditions of most roads across the country, which in his view has increased the losses incurred by businesses.
“The taxation from government was very high last year despite that businesses are in decline, while basic infrastructure are not there. Many business owners recorded avoidable losses in the course of transporting goods.
Proffering solutions, the entrepreneur appealed to the Federal Government to fix all the nation’s refineries. “Refineries should all be made to work well to reduce the high cost of petroleum products. Reduce the cost of energy by fixing refineries. A situation where the electricity distribution companies keep increasing the tariff must be reversed in the interest of Nigerians.”
“I advise government is to do whatever it costs to make the business clime in Nigeria friendly. Tackle corruption in government by making people accountable in government offices.”