Stakeholders in the economy have described multiple taxations and multiple police checkpoints across cities in the federation as a major impediment to the ease of doing business (EODB) in Nigeria.
Stakeholders who spoke yesterday in Abuja, at the sub-national technical workshop to discuss the ease of doing business intervention and the State Action on Business Enabling Reform (SABER) project, urged financing institutions like the Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ease the processes of accessing funds for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking, Special Adviser to the Abia state government on reform champion, Chinenye Nwaogu urged the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to meet with relevant security agencies to remind them of their role in securing the environment and as an enabler and growth of businesses instead of bottleneck to the ecosystem.
Lamenting that SMEs were still suffering despite state government efforts in providing microfinance banks to access finance, Nwaogu insisted that states were currently grappling with low revenue because the SMEs have not been properly funded to expand the ecosystem and create more jobs for economic growth and development.
His words: “One thing we want PEBEC to do is to stop multiple checkpoints in cities, we understand the need to police our environment and provide security for SMEs, traders and those coming to do business with us in our ecosystem. This should not become an impediment to the growth of our businesses.
“They should meet with relevant security agencies to see their role in securing the environment as an enabler and growth of businesses instead of bottlenecks.
“Issues around access to finance are a major impediment for businesses. As a state government, we have set up banks for SMEs but it is not enough, we need development finance institutions like the BOI, BOA, CBN to ease the processes of accessing funding for SMEs so that they can inject into their businesses to expand the ecosystem and create more jobs for economic growth.
“Because if you look at many states today, they are grappling with low revenue from the Federal Government because FAAC allocation is no longer enough, meanwhile the responsibilities of states are expanding. We need more revenue for the state and one way we can do that is to expand the revenue ecosystem for SMEs.”
On her part, PEBEC Secretary and Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole who admitted that multiple checkpoints on the road have been an issue over the last five years, urged state governments to lend their voices to PEBEC reforms to make the environment friendly for private sectors to thrive.
“We have so many states in the room saying that their MSMEs are not doing well that they need to speak to banks, they also talked about police and multiple checkpoints on the roads. We have worked in this direction for the last five years but we also need the state government to lend their voices into the reforms.”