As economic recession bites harder on Nigerian businesses across the country, the Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Association (ECOBPA) has advanced measures that government must engage to create enduring wealth for Enugu and job opportunities for the teeming jobless Nigerian youths.
Speaking recently to journalists in Enugu, Nigeria, the coalition identified, among other issues, multiple taxation, epileptic power supply, high rent of business premises, arbitrariness of officials of State waste management agency and security as challenges that are inhibiting the survival and growth of businesses in Enugu State.
According to the body, viable business activities are critical to economic growth and development of any State as this creates employment opportunities and wealth and contributes meaningfully to the growth of the Gross National Product (GDP) of any nation or State.
The group therefore called on Enugu State Government to address, as a matter of urgency these issues if it is to engender the desired environment that will drive business growth and create wealth in the state.
Emeka Okereke, Secretary of ECOBPA and Director General, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) said the coalition articulated eight key issues that have made it herculean for businesses to operate smoothly in the State, following a research that was carried out in Enugu, funded by Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
He noted that the association was determined to help reverse the growing trend of businesses closing down in the State because of poor orientation, multiple-taxation and illegal collection of levies and rates. “Many businesses can no longer sustain their workers, as workers are being retrenched at will of the employer due to lack of money to pay their salaries”, he said.
The body insisted that if these issues are not addressed that they have the potential of crippling the economy of the nation, promoting hunger and unemployment, which is a catalyst for crime, sickness and insecurity.
The coalition also called on the media to partner with it to educate and sensitize residents of Enugu State on the importance of engaging in entrepreneurship and seizing the opportunity that the association is presently promoting.
Okereke added, “in this period of recession in Nigeria, it is pertinent for people especially Enugu residents to embrace business opportunities and possible solutions to challenges confronting businesses provided by ECOBPA, so as to help promote the well-being of the State creating enduring wealth and job opportunities for our teaming jobless youths.
“The media, government and stakeholders in business industry need to put a best strategy to find a lasting solution to this menace that is capable of crippling the economy of the nation”, he said.
The Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Association is made up of 32 business and professional bodies which aim is to create a market oriented business environment that will engender employment creation and sustainable development in Enugu State.