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30% of Small Businesses Shut Down in 2023-NASSI

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By Felix Kuyinu

Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, NASSI, Gertrude Akhimien, has decried the recent removal of electricity subsidy by the Federal Government of Nigeria, stating that the occurrence of poor power supply in the country has caused businesses being shut down.

The NASSI Chairman reckoned that over 30 per cent out of the over 24 million registered small and medium enterprises in Nigeria folded up in year 2023.

Akhimien stated this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos.

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While denouncing the increase in electricity tariff in the country, she said, “At least 30 per cent of the businesses I am aware of have shut down. Many called me to say that they had shut down and I told them we would try to see how we could manage the situation and all that; how we could do one day in and out. The shutdown was between last year and this year.”

In addition, most of the association’s members have started selling off their equipment, as said by Akhimien.

“When someone is selling his or her production material, what does that tell you? They are shutting down; they are all up for sale.

“The removal of electricity tariffs would reduce the profit margin of SMEs as power contributes 50 percent to their operating costs.

“When you input the cost of electricity or diesel or any other source of power in your system, it takes almost 50 per cent of the cost of the business. So, if you are spending 50 per cent of the total cost of your business on just power, where will you see the profit from.

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She added that people now stay in businesses by operating once or twice a week to save costs.

“I have seen people businesses swing their operations, whereby, they operate like once or twice in a week. They just come to do their production and then shut down. That can’t continue.

“You don’t do business like that and of course, it is affecting workers because people would lay off their staff members. The government has to look into this,” she concluded.

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