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Regulatory policies limit businesses’ success

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By Mercy Kelani

Experts argue that heavy financial burdens are imposed on businesses.

According to experts, there are various regulatory obstacles and policies that are limiting the progress of businesses. Their argument showed that Nigeria has taken measures for the improvement of its business environment, but there is more to be done for intensification of these efforts to help businesses succeed. The Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises, Muda Yusuf, stated that some of these regulatory policies are capable of disruption when policies are changed regularly.

Muda Yusuf stated that Nigeria, as a country, does not have a good experience in the financial sector. This is because the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks release different circulars at a time, almost on a weekly basis. He added that these policies impose heavy financial burdens on businesses, especially Small and Medium-scale Enterprises, as they demand high fees which usually exceeds the administrative fees. There is also the issue of arbitrariness in the interpretation of regulatory actions.

Many businesses are no longer in existence, as a result.

CEO Yusuf said that a lot of discretion is used during the process, and, subsequently, money is extorted from businesses, particularly in their mode of conducting these activities. This act is known as regulatory risk. According to some businesses, regulatory risk is regarded as one of the biggest risks that businesses have to face. For instance, it is okay for an individual to begin a business that is based on a particular regulation, for a period of six months.

However, after one month, there is a likelihood that there will be a sudden and swift change in regulation, which will have an effect on the business. He decried that many businesses are no longer in existence as a result of sudden regulatory actions, while some of them will give short notices that will be difficult for businesses to adjust to. Other business experts from all over the country also spoke about this current situation in the business industry.

Policy fluctuations could lead to unpredictability.

A Business Expert, Mr. Herbert Taiwo, said that bureaucratic processes across Nigeria is recognized with a lot of administrative difficulties that result in complexity and delays. He asserted that acquisition of licenses and permits, most of the time, requires a massive investment of time and necessary navigation through several government entities. There is lack uniformity in regulations and how they are enforced across different states in Nigeria, which has caused challenges for business that operate across state borders.

It also worsens compliance challenges as a result of no regulatory harmonization. He noted that policy fluctuations could lead to unpredictability in the regulatory environment, which makes it difficult for enterprises to ensure formulation of consistent and stable management policies in affected states. Furthermore, Taiwo said that the tax system in Nigeria have proved to be intricate for businesses, often. He highlighted that frequent changes in tax assessments and regulations could bring about uncertainty, affecting the financial planning of businesses.

FG is committed to developing a conducive business environment.

Also, Mr. Herbert Taiwo, the business expert, stated that devising measures to overcome regulatory obstacles is a critical task that requires an organized effort, with the involvement of the government, the business sector, and the regulatory institutions. He further added that the government has unwavering commitment for the development of a conducive environment for businesses to succeed. This is necessary to ensure stimulation of job creation and economic growth across the whole of the country, thereby reducing unemployment.

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