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How Nigerian businesses can compete globally

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By Timothy Akintola

Advanced infrastructures must be put in place for global competitiveness.

Nigeria’s business ecosystem has grown to be one of the biggest business hubs in West Africa. With thriving startups, more investors have been willing to raise their stakes in the Nigerian business space. Nigeria, boosting of Africa’s biggest economy, has positioned itself strategically to play significant roles in the global economic market. With a fertile environment for economic development and further investments, Nigeria’s economic market has the potential to notch a higher ground in the global market. For this to be accomplished, however, some important issues must be considered.

Entrepreneurship for one is hugely dependent on an established, maintained and constantly improved infrastructure. However, the logistics operations in the country have become increasingly unbearable as a result of the lack of maintainable of public roads, seaports and airports. The recurrent power outage challenge that continually disrupt the progress of operations have affected the optimal performance of businesses and hindering competitiveness in the country, both locally and globally. Thus, businesses will have some of these challenges cut out for them in environment where infrastructures are well improved. Production can only be sufficient and sustainable when basic infrastructures like electricity and roads are constantly improved to suite the needs of the businesses.

Corruption has overtime crippled the development of SMEs in Nigeria.

A challenge that has immensely affected the lack of competition among Small Medium Enterprises is the inaccessibility to capital. Most entrepreneurial firms have limited access to capitals at reasonable rates, hindering their prospect for growing and competing in the economic market. It is pivotal for businesses in Nigeria to invest in advanced technologies, so that they can also compete in the global market. For this to happen, the government must review the existing regulations and make these laws more business-friendly, so as to enhance development by encouraging more SMEs. SMEs can also seek for more funding sources.

Another challenge that has crippled the development of SMEs in Nigeria is corruption. Both new and old businesses are not exempted from the consequences of corruption. This menace affects Small and Medium Enterprises by immensely stunting on their developmental and operational processes, as well as killing innovation in the business scene. Many businesses have been over-taxed by corrupt government officials that demand bribe money from business owners before their operations can commence. This has also heralded distrust and lack of investments within Nigeria’s business environment.

SMEs must be innovative and overtly competitive for development.

With innovation playing a significant role in entrepreneurship, SMEs are urged to be overtly competitive. Investing in trainings and use of technology can be enacted in gaining a more competitive standing. With advanced technology, efficiency and competitiveness is further enhanced. Also, development opportunities and trainings must be adequately provided for employees to improve consistency. Firms must learn to invest in their human capital, for immense expertise, experience and development opportunities to give the company a competitive edge.

Through mentorship, the capacity of employers can also be expanded. Mentorship programs that would help develop employers across important fields must be duly enacted. Also, companies can enact the diversification of goods and services to further boost their competitive advantages. New markets must offer new perspectives to solving problems in the economic environment. Without diversification, a firm can be hugely limited which in turn, hinders expansion and expose economic downturns. Businesses must significantly diversify to increase their competitive edge.

Government & stakeholders must unite for businesses to compete globally.

If Nigerian businesses aim at a global dominance in the business scene, they must envision beyond the country’s boarders and commence exploring other African countries. With the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement in 2021, there is an access to over 1.3 billion people and a $3 trillion GDP. Thus, the intra-African trade can be well explored by businesses. It is however important to note that the government and stakeholders must works collaboratively for the Nigerian business industry to compete globally.


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