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Business - February 13, 2019

Employers’ Association wants tide of business closures curbed

Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has expressed regret at the recent suspension of operations of Greif Nigeria Plc and a host of other manufacturing companies in the country.

Speaking in Lagos, the Director General of NECA, Mr. Timothy Olawale stated that “it is disheartening to receive the news of the closure of the factory plants of the company in Delta and Kaduna States and ultimately the suspension of operations in Nigeria. This brings to fore the challenges businesses are faced with in Nigeria. It is not enough for Government to invite private capital from overseas, businesses already operating in Nigeria should be given all the necessary support to thrive and mitigate the effects of the inhospitable business environment”

While commending Government’s efforts at improving the Ease Of Doing Business in Nigeria, he averred that “beyond the many other parameters used to gauge the success of the EODB, one critical parameter is how competitive existing businesses are. We cannot lose sight of the many businesses facing the death knell and several others like Greif Nigeria already losing the battle for survival.

In his explanation of the dangers inherent in business closures, the NECA Boss noted that “Business closures have greater consequences for the Nation as a whole as more Nigerians would join the labour market. Beyond the income of families being truncated, unemployment figures increased and social malaise going out of hand, Government’s ability to generate income through Company and Personal Income Taxes will be reduced.”

While suggesting a way out, Mr. Olawale urged that “government should double its efforts at creating conducive operating environment for businesses to thrive. There is no reason why interest-free loans, bail-out grants or tax holidays should not be given to businesses that have been certified as being on the brink of extinction. A critical look at regulatory high-handedness and lawlessness that tends to stifle businesses is highly overdue if the nation does not want to have many other businesses closing down in few months”

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