Nigerians have been warned to be cautious about their expectations of 2022 as the harsh economic realities of 2021 are still exerting influence on every aspect of life. The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, in a statement, while felicitating with Nigerians on New Year, urged them to regard challenges of 2021 as “a motivation for concerted efforts to persist in building their businesses despite the harsh fiscal environment.”

He also encouraged businessmen and women in Nigeria to remain undaunted and consistent in applying innovative methods and strategies to sustain their businesses in 2022 as they have done in 2021.

However, he urged operators of small and medium scale businesses not  to relent but continue to advocate for improved business climate in Nigeria, while he acknowledged that the COVID-19, pandemic has pushed businesses around the globe over the technology tipping point, given rise to new industry challenges, and has transformed businesses forever.

The statement said: “With carefully formulated tools and well-advanced preparation, the toughest challenges could be turned into opportunities.  We call on the government to intensify its efforts in providing the technology and digital infrastructure well needed for new business techniques in line with current realities.

“The Chamber also calls the attention of the government to the issue of high taxation, with its consequent counterproductive effect, as it kills many businesses and deepens the unemployment crisis.

“We suggest broadening the tax base and reducing the tax rates. Increasing level of inflation, high taxes, as high-interest rates contribute to increasing the cost of production.

“This has resulted in many businesses not breaking even and many are closing shops. The situation is further complicated by insecurity challenges and the exchange rate instability.

“We recommend easing the harsh business environment by transforming regulatory agencies into facilitating bodies.

“In a drive to generate funds at all cost, businesses in Abuja are subjected to more than five levels of taxation.

“This needs to change so that SMEs can thrive and employ more workers to ease the increasing level of unemployment.

“The Chamber believes that the economy grows and GDP multiplies when government’s policies, agencies, and programmes facilitate rather than impede businesses.”

He called for strong synergy between the public and private sectors to weather through the storms that might hit the business environment, while the Chamber was committed and ready to support government at all levels in the drive to grow the economy, create wealth and resolve national economic challenges.

He acknowledged many interventions of the government to enhance and boost economic opportunities, and noted the constraints confronting government in the area of low revenue and mounting expenditure.

But he pointed out the persistent insecurity challenge in the country, which has significantly affected the ease of doing business.




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