Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector OPS (OPS) has lost a whopping 74.2 per cent of its members due to the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
This is even as it has decried continous neglect of the sector by governments, warning it could be detrimental to the country’s economic sustainability.
The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) at its quarterly briefing after a Governing Council meeting in Lagos yesterday said its recent survey showed that 74.2 percent of enterprises have stopped operating due to COVID-19.
Acting President of the Association, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi, said a business survey conducted with a view to gauging the specific impact of COVID-19 on businesses to aid NECA’S advocacy efforts amongst others also revealed that 15.8 percent are either fully on site or teleworking.
“Over 90 per cent of surveyed enterprises noted that limited cash-flow was an impediment to operations and over 90per cent stated that demand for their goods and services had significantly reduced,” he said.
The NECA boss stated that the survey reflected further that the disruption chains resulted in 78.2 per cent of enterprises had supply challenges as suppliers were unable to fulfil orders.
He expressed that though commendable were various several government’s intervention, but non specifically were directed to the operators in the sector.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had announced N50 billion credit facility to households, and Small and Medium Enterprises most affected by the pandemic, as well as N100 billion loan to the health sector, and N1 trillion to the manufacturing sector.
In addition, the interest rates on all CBN interventions programmes were revised downwards from 9 per cent to 5 per cent and a one-year moratorium was introduced, effective March 1, 2020. But Adeniyi said the announcement was a blanket one and need to be sector specific as government’s definition of manufacturing is not explanatory enough.
Meanwhile, Organised Labour in maritime sector has backed the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)’s call for payment of palliatives to workers at sea to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. The call was coming as Nigeria joined other parts of the world yesterday to celebrate the International Day of the Seafarers. The Day of the Seafarer is a day set aside by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to celebrate seafarers for their contributions to international trade. This year’s Seafarer Celebration is tagged, “Seafarers are key workers – essential to shipping, essential to the world.”
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) said incentives should be given to seafarer who have left their families for about three to six months, moreso as they stay longer at sea now due to COVID-19. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had reported that about 200,000 seafarers were trapped on board ships around the world because of measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus, and that the situation was getting worse by the day.