The Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Muda Yusuf, has disclosed that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Lagos Lost N2.7 billion. The DG who made this known in the Economic and Business Review MSMEs in Lagos Lost N2.7 Billion to Lockdown–LCCI for 2020 and Outlook for 2021, attributed the development to COVID-19 and the EndSARS protests. His words: “Our findings showed that MSMEs with active presence in Lagos lost at least N2.7 billion in revenue to the lockdown.”
Yusuf however acknowledged some of the contributions made by major stakeholders to cushion the impact of the lockdown on the business community:
“The fiscal and monetary authorities as well as the coalition of private sector players provided several relief measures to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the business community. Business activities rebounded modestly in Q3-2020 following the relaxation of various lockdown measures.”
Yusuf further noted that the naira exchange rate depreciation, alongside sustained acceleration in domestic prices, was responsible for the rise in the cost of production and operating costs for investors in the economy, even as revenue was pressured by unfavourable economic conditions. His words:
Citing major challenges faced by the business community in the outgoing year, the DG noted liquidity crisis in the foreign exchange market, sharp exchange rate depreciation, high energy & production cost, ports congestion, cumbersome and burdensome customs processes, insecurity, inconsistent government policies, regulatory uncertainties, land border closure and Apapa traffic gridlock.
Speaking further, Yusuf stated: “It is not clear what new strategies are in the works. Without bold policy pronouncements in this regard, constraints to the ease of doing business including FX shortage, escalating production costs, high regulatory costs, infrastructure inadequacies, and delayed cargo clearance, will persist into year 2021.
“These constraints will be more profound on businesses in the real economy. We believe the sluggish pace of recovery will continue to subdue consumer demand, albeit the impact on earnings performance will be disproportionate across sectors.”