THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY
Any discussion on the Nigerian economy would lack substance if not channeled to one specific aspect of the economy. This bears directly from the fact that the Nigerian economy, just like Nigeria itself is immensely vast and overwhelming. It would therefore be necessary to channel this discussion to a relatively familiar concept which is the involvement of the Nigerian government and parastatals with the development of small and medium scale enterprises.
It is widely known that the Nigerian economy is highly consumptive. An average Nigerian would be aware of the joke about how Nigeria imports even toothpicks. This fact has created an obvious need for small and medium scale enterprises to get funding in order to reduce the Nigerian consumption rate and simultaneously add to our very low production rate which would invariably reduce employment.
Across decades, and within several political administrations, governments have made several attempts to improve the condition of small and medium scale enterprises , it is sad, however, that these attempts may not have may not be as effective as expected as the Nigerian economy is still highly dependent on importation and the number of local factories has definitely refused to grow.
World over, the contribution of small scale enterprises (SSEs) has been recognised as the main sustenance of any economic output and enhancing human welfare. For Nigeria as a nation, the contribution of small scale enterprises should not be underrated at this crucial time of economic and social developments of the nation.It is in lieu of this that the Federal Executive Council has approved a 1.3 billion dollars loan credit facility for the commencement of the Development bank of Nigeria.
The approval was given by Nigeria’s finance minister; Kemi Adeosun in April 2017. The question is: what do the small scale businesses need, would it be funding, or even more than that? The answer to this is not far fetched , if by funding small businesses, especially infant ones, developments would have been achieved, then Nigerian small scale would definitely have experienced a leap as of now, the only reason why the reverse is the case is that Nigerian businesses, need more than just funding. A practical reference to this point is an overview of the production of plastic cans in Nigeria It is rated that every year, about three hundred new entrepreneurs ”rush” into the plastic business and about two hundred of these ”rush” out of business. the cause of this would obviously be that for small scale industries to thrive, there would be an absolute need for orientation and enlightenment as to how to run businesses and in what areas should businesses be run. Nigerians would definitely agree that the majority of small and medium scale enterprises are subjected to semi formal and sometimes, even semi literate environments. It is therefore very needed for a little less attention on the so-called funding of the small scale enterprises and a little more of the managerial shills involved in running these businesses.
Perhaps a very obvious example of this shortfall is found in the over-populated production of plastic cans as found in a survey, carried out by the Lagos State Government under the Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola administration. At first, the concern of this survey was the rate at which plastic plates (takeaway packs) and bottles are dumped in ditches and canals causing environmental pollution and flooding. At the end of the survey, recommendations were made instructing people (especially aspiring entrepreneurs) to focus on creating value (income) from recycling plastic wastes as there are already more enough producers of such. The above analogy presents an obvious case of misinformation on the part of small scale ventures and business owners.
At this point, we can draw the curtain on our argument having established that the Nigerian economy itself is unapproachable as a whole chunk, and that we have been able to give a brief but practical account of the importance and shortcomings of small scale enterprises in Nigeria’s gradually developing economy.