The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises has said that the influx of foreign products is weighing heavily on locally produced goods.
NASME South-West region Chairman, Solomon Aderoju, told The PUNCH in an exclusive interview recently that SMEs have been prone to shocks from inflation, interest rate and other factors.
“The monetary policy rate does not favour us. That means nobody can borrow less than 16.5 per cent and no SME can thrive with such.
“Also, infrastructure has to be in place to address the issue of energy. We have to look into that because the cost of production is very high,” he noted.
According to him, another thing that has impacted SMEs is the market.
“The influx of foreign products is killing our locally produced goods and some of them are not better than what we are producing in Nigeria.”
Also, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, explained that the reason for the increase in foreign products was due to the uncompetitiveness of Nigerian products.
“It boils down to competitiveness of what is produced in Nigeria. If the cost of production in Nigeria remains very high, it will be very difficult to compel people to purchase what is made in Nigeria.
“If we have a cheaper foreign option, it comes down to the issue of how to bring down the cost of production. If Nigerian products are more competitive in price, quality will help patronage.”
To drive patronage of local products, he urged the government at all levels as a matter of deliberate policy to patronise what is made in Nigeria.
“Across all the sectors of small businesses, the greatest worry is the rising cost of prices. It has even forced some of them out of business. Most of them still in the pool of business are just struggling. So, it will benefit them a great deal if in the New Year we can have an improvement in our macroeconomic environment.”