An entrepreneurial skill development expert, Mr Joshua Adesoji, has urged the three tiers of government to create favourable conditions for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive.
Adesoji, who is with Vine Logic Solutions Limited, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Enugu that the SMEs held the key to solving the serious unemployment challenges being faced by the country.
The expert, who however lauded the efforts of both Federal and state governments on unemployment, said that the magnitude and growing number of the unemployed, made it necessary for the fight against unemployment to be that of “every Nigerian’’.
He noted that the three tiers of government had to stop the issues of multiple taxation, frivolous taxation as well as taxation without business growth considerations.
“With how it is today on self-job creation, you wonder whether governments through its actions and inaction are encouraging Nigerians not to go into start-ups or even expand their present SMEs businesses due to multiple taxation and frivolous taxation and payments.
“Another, is the lack of adequate power supply to run businesses especially grassroots businesses and start-ups.
“Even, where electricity appear to be relative available, small businesses are further retarded with over billing.
“Where on earth can a barber or hair salon shop operator pay between N10,000 and N16,000 per month for electricity consumption for just a shop,’’ he said.
According to him, we cannot create jobs or eradicate unemployment when the businesses and SMEs in our immediate localities or environment cannot employ more hands and mop-up idle hands in our localities.
Adesoji said: “There is a need for the three tiers of government to look more on the side of SMEs growth for employment generation rather than closing or retarding the growth through harsh taxes, social service charges such as electricity over billing.
“Why it seems that in every Asian country, individuals, families and small groups owns production outfits is due to the tax holidays and relatively small energy charge on cottage industries that employs tenths of people within localities,’’ he noted.
The expert said such could be replicated in the country, adding: “I have noticed the can-do-spirit in most Nigerians and I have personally found out that Nigerians are never lazy people both physically and mentally’.”
“Government must put the right conditions, if possible translates such conditions into law, to encourage everybody into production of goods or service at every level and unemployment will disappear in a matter of years,’’ he added. (NAN)