A NON-Governmental organisation (NGO), Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Initiative (SEEDi) has described the difficulties posed by corruption to Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), as threatening to the nation’s long-term development.
In Abuja Thursday, the Lead Partner of SEEDi, Mr Celestine Okeke, pointed out that corruption was prevalent in government agencies and the programmes meant to assist MSMEs.
He spoke during the presentation of report, “Stolen Dreams: How Corruption Negates Government Support for Nigeria’s Small Businesses.
Okeke said: “Corruption has become routine widespread and it has toxic effects on Africa’s largest economy and most strategically important nation.
“Left unchecked, this financial malfeasance will undermine the resilience and long-term prospects of Nigeria’s MSMEs.’’
Okeke tasked the government agencies to work with organised private sector bodies as a way of making the effectiveness of MSMEs programmes more impactful.
He is convinced that unless government reformed its programmes, the potential of small businesses to “boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP), end unemployment among youths, generate tax revenue and stabilise post conflict areas would remain limited.”
He said: “Many of these reforms will not only require presidential and ministerial leadership, but carefully legislative remedies as well.”
He identified as problems issues like multiple taxation, retail corruption and antiquated land tenure laws, over-regulation of the country’s decaying power and transportation infrastructure.
Okeke advised that rather than giving large sums to corruption-prone agencies, government should undertake preventative regulatory measure to make it easier for fledgling businesses to stabilize.