Economic experts have emphasised the significance of businesses in Nigeria adapting to the current challenges by formulating strategies and business models that align with their objectives.
Speaking during the presentation of economic outlook at the third edition of the mid-year review for 2023 of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), they called for a repositioning that responds effectively to the current business landscape.
The chief executive officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, cautioned that initial policy shocks stemming from the convergence of foreign exchange (FX) rates and the removal of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies could amplify inflationary pressures and worsen the ongoing cost-of-living crisis if not prudently managed.
He explained that the resultant increase in operational costs could impose constraints on numerous businesses, especially Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), compelling them to downsize their workforce and adopt various cost-cutting strategies. This, in turn, would contribute to a rise in the count of unemployed or underemployed individuals within the country.
Founder and chief consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult), Dr. ‘Biodun Adedipe, emphasized that the current period provides an opportune time for businesses to reposition themselves.
He encouraged businesses to respond to the challenges by revising their strategies and business models in alignment with their mandates.
Adedipe proposed that the solution to the economic outlook lies not solely in the standard IMF approach of currency devaluation to eliminate premiums. Instead, he stressed the importance of expansive domestic manufacturing and a relentless focus on driving exports to address underlying structural issues.
President/chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Ken Opara, opened the discussion by highlighting the key events that marked the first half of 2023. He pointed out the cash shortages in various Nigerian regions, which had impeded day-to-day transactions for businesses and individuals.
Opara also noted the significance of Nigeria’s recent general elections, including the presidential, gubernatorial, and legislative polls. Upon the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the new president of Nigeria, his administration introduced pivotal reforms aimed at addressing macroeconomic imbalances.