Traders are complaining of low patronage

Adebayo Obajemu

It is no longer news that the Nigerian businesses are not immune from the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic which has plundered global economy.

The pandemic has had untoward cosequences on Nigerian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

In a report by FATE Foundation, Nigeria’s foremost enterprise knowledge and support provider, entitled:  “Impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian MSMEs”,
developed by FATE Foundation in partnership with BudgIT, it analyzed the impact of the pandemic on small businesses.
It reported details analysis of responses from 1,943 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the 36 states in Nigeria including the FCT and across sectors.

The study revealed that an overwhelming 94.3% of businesses surveyed reported being negatively impacted by the pandemic particularly in the areas of Cashflow, Sales and Revenue.

“Financially, a good number of the businesses were doing poorly as about 13% reported having enough cashflow to stay operational for 1 – 3 months while about 33% had enough cashflow to stay operational for only 1 – 4 weeks and about 27% for only 1 – 7 days. A number of jobs were also impacted as 82.8% of the businesses reported that they were likely to lay off 1 – 5 employees,” the report stated.

While almost 50% of the businesses were able to identify opportunities despite the negative impacts of the pandemic along the lines of creating new products and services, expansion and diversification etc, most businesses reported needing support with cashflow and sales, and would like support in the area of funding, access to markets and business support.

The report also showed that businesses were positive about surviving the pandemic as 47% of the respondents reported that their businesses will survive the pandemic. About 22% were unsure while 30% reported that their businesses will not survive the pandemic.

In concluding, the report made in-depth recommendations for government, enterprise support organizations, private and development sector stakeholders on policy and program design as well as implementation approach to salvage the MSMEs