Last month, the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo launched the Trader Moni initiative in Osun State. Trader Moni is a new venture under the existing Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP). The Federal Government says that the scheme “will empower two million petty traders between now and the end of the year.” However, critics have accused the Buhari-led government of having a hidden agenda.
On Monday, September 10, at a press briefing in Lagos, the Premium Bread Bakers Association of Nigeria (PBBAN) announced warned that they may be forced to increase the price of bread due to the high cost of baking ingredients.
“The challenges we face as a result of the incessant increase in the prices of baking ingredients have rendered most premium bakeries comatose making us operate at a loss,” the President of the association, Mr. Jemide Tosan, stated.
“Given the current situation, most premium bakeries may be forced to embark on a price increase, which will further make bread unaffordable to the common man.” Let that sink!
Let’s create a scenario:
Iya Basira is a roadside food vendor. She applies for and gets the 10k loan. She’s excited. She runs off to the market. At the market, she discovers that a bag of rice (10kg ) costs #3,000. A bag (25kg) of Oloyin beans is #15,000; a quarter costs #3,750. A bag of white Garri (50kg) is #6,500; half will cost #3,250. If Iya Basira spends her money on 10kg of rice, a quarter of 25kg of Oloyin beans and half of the 50kg bag of white Garri, she would have spent #10,000.
The next morning, Iya Basira is at her spot cooking her delicious meals, getting ready to serve her hungry and eager customers when council officers arrive. They throw her goods away and arrest her. Someone has to go and bail her. End of story!
Lack of enabling environment and infrastructure, epileptic power supply, poor transport network, expensive cost of banking, high-interest loans, ineffective government regulations, bribery, and corruption are challenges being faced by business in Nigeria. We need to fix these problems.
“The solution for Africa is trade not aid, and low-cost but not cheap. The governments should make it easier for companies to launch businesses, invest in power, promote local content, and ensure upskilling of the workforce”. — Herman Singh, MTN Group Chief Digital Officer at The Innovation Africa Digital Summit (IADS) 2018.
Olabode Emmanuel tweets @olabodeeo