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2023 was a difficult year for businesses – NECA DG

The Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, yesterday, said 2023 was a difficult year for businesses, leading to some companies…

The Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, yesterday, said 2023 was a difficult year for businesses, leading to some companies changing their business model while others exited the country.

While noting that global economic challenges brought some disruptions, he said some policies of the government over time also affected the local scene.

Oyerinde in an interview with Daily Trust, opined that the country was in a serious debt crisis during the early part of the year as the former administration was using about 95% of the revenue that accrued to the government to service debt.

“If you look at our local front, GDP growth wasn’t as expected, you know, the projections were distorted by so many local issues that we had. At a point in the year, we were so deep in debt and our productive capacity as a nation was also dwindling rapidly, you know that the government then had to come out and say our capacity to even pay debt has been compromised when we were using close to 95% of our revenue to service debt.

A nation cannot be in a worse state than that but somehow we weathered the storm, had an election and a new administration came in,” he said.

He said the decision of the new administration to remove fuel subsidy as well as float the naira also created challenges for businesses and the public.

While noting that trillions of naira were spent on fuel subsidies by successive administrations, the NECA DG said recent revelations show that at least N150 billion was spent by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to defend the naira on a monthly basis.

He, however, warned that the positive effects of these policies might not be felt until the second or third quarter of 2024.

“We hope all these reforms will start bearing fruit probably in the second or third quarter of 2024,” he added.

 

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