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SMEs closing shops on daily basis, says NASSI

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The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists has said that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises are shutting down operations on a daily basis due to the harsh operating environment in the country.

The Vice Chairman of the Lagos chapter of the association, Peter Popoola, stated this while speaking with The PUNCH on the sidelines of the 2023 ‘Made in Nigeria’ NASSI Trade Fair which was held in Lagos.

According to Popoola, MSMEs have the capacity to contribute immensely to the national economy but are unable to do so due to an avalanche of bottlenecks faced by these small businesses.

He said, “It is the small-scale enterprises that contribute the most to the economy, and in Nigeria, it is no different. When you look at all the MSMEs, there are more than 50 million in this country. When you talk about employment, we are also taking the lead. So, MSMEs are forces that you cannot undermine.

“The economy is not friendly to us. Our members are feeling the hardship in a very serious way. In fact, our members are closing up every day because they cannot continue any longer. The prices of raw materials have skyrocketed. We can’t produce with the generator again. If we buy diesel at N1,050 to produce, we will run at a loss.”

Also speaking, the Lagos State chapter chairman of NASSI, Gertrude Akhimien, said the idea behind the trade fair is to showcase the quality of Made in Nigeria products.

She said, “It is a Made in Nigeria Trade Fair, the whole idea is to encourage our members who are producers to bring out their products for public scrutiny. It is only when people see their products that they appreciate what they are doing, and then they can get off-takers, people who can take it to their supermarkets or warehouses and sell it to the general public.