Salvaging MSMEs in Nigeria from COVID-19 strains

The crash in economic activities particularly at the height of the total lockdown that lasted for over a month in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had no doubt landed negative blows on businesses in these parts of the Country. 

However, these are not the only sections of the country affected by these strains, as a number of other states have also had their own patterns of lockdown in line with the danger posed by the dreaded virus within their domains.

 Lagos, the economic nerve centre of Nigeria remains the epicentre of the virus, a development that has inflicted a huge blow on the economy of the State. This situation has also continued to negatively impact the economic livewire of the neighbouring Ogun State. Businesses in these States among other states in the country have all been hit directly or indirectly since this pandemic found his way into Nigeria in February 2020. 

Through the years, Nigeria's economy is known to be largely saturated with Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME). These establishments which constitute the larger percentage of business entities in the country have been seriously affected by the hostile and anti-economic conditions posed by the Coronavirus pandemic to national economies and the world economy at large.

 Most recent studies in Nigeria are showing that over 80 per cent of these businesses are at the risk of shrinking as they continue to suffer prolonged strains instituted by the pandemic. Shrink in cash-flow, sales, and revenue are negative indices currently affecting MSMEs in the Country; a development that may lead to loss of jobs in millions.

It is highly essential for Governments in Nigeria across all levels to awake to the reality of salvaging the Country from economic catastrophe.

 This is the time to give utmost considerations to innovative drives for policy initiatives that are so substantive to revitalise and reposition the economy. 

The Federal Government should on its side initiate a policy building process for brainstorming on all adoptable possible modalities which if implemented will be viable enough to remediate existing strains in the Country's economy, and at the same time help in boosting the economy in the long run, while cushioning against potential short-term disturbances.

The Federal Government should come up with vitalised monetary and fiscal policies that will effectively prove prudent to suit the process of navigating and propelling the national economy into better shape. 

State Governments should not rest on their oars, as this is the time to work round the clock with initiatives to propel State's internal economies for even development across the country at large. 

The need for States in the federation to awake to the reality of navigating their economies for sound capacity unto substantial Internal Revenue Generation (IGR) is indispensable at the wake of the present circumstances. 

Government at the Federal and State level must place a priority on policies to salvage and revive MSMEs to protect them from liquidation. 

Neglecting these key players in the economy at this time has a high tendency of nosediving into a development which may lead to loss of several jobs and a catastrophic blow on the Country at large. 

States such as Lagos and Ogun among others gravely affected by the pandemic must strategize to salvage MSMEs which constitute a larger chunk of businesses in their respective domains.

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