News / Africa

Business Activity Slows in Northern Nigeria

Police check point near Government House in Kano, Nigeria (Isiyaku Ahmed/VOA)Police check point near Government House in Kano, Nigeria (Isiyaku Ahmed/VOA)
x
Police check point near Government House in Kano, Nigeria (Isiyaku Ahmed/VOA)
Police check point near Government House in Kano, Nigeria (Isiyaku Ahmed/VOA)
Isiyaku Ahmed
In northern Nigeria, business activity has slowed, largely due to insecurity.  The 2011 World Investment Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says that the Nigerian economy has lost over six billion dollars [N1.3trillion] as a result of attacks by the Islamic radical group Boko Haram.
 
The Center for Research and Documentation in the northern city of Kano attributes the threat to a drop in earnings for nearly all businesses in Kano State.
 
Today, a new program is looking for solutions to the challenges facing state businesses.  It’s called ENABLE, or Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Business Environment. The project is a collaborative effort between the Kano-based center and the UK’s Department for International Development
 
The program encourages and facilitates communication between the private sector and government ministries. And, it helps provide access to legal, policy and regulatory information to stimulate an informed dialogue. 
 
Umar Ibrahim Yakubu is the executive director of the center, which is located along Sokoto road in the government reserved area of the northern Nigerian town.
 
As for the state's business environment, he said, "We discovered that 97% of businesses were negatively affected by the security problem. Some of them had to close down, some of them had to retrench some of their workers, and some of them had to cut down in the number of hours of operation." 

Yakubu said the research covers businesses across various sectors including manufacturing, commerce, hospitality, and crafts and trade.  The study's findings were disseminated in a seminar to stakeholders, the private sector and the government. It aims to solicit their input and devise ways of addressing the challenges.
 
"An agreement was reached," he said, "that the government will work closely with business organizations to see how these problems will be resolved to bring back business [and trade] to Kano state."

Some businessmen support the police presence, including 55-year-old trader Alhaji Kabiru Isa Mai Sabulu.  He sells sugar, beverages, rice, spaghetti and other imports mostly from Asia.

Sabulua defends the police presence, saying it helps protect businesses, travelers and the public.  In his opinion,  insecurity can not stop trade and commerce in Kano. Even with the heavy security check points, he said people continue to come to Kano from different parts of Nigeria and neighboring countries for various business transactions.

Alhaji Ali Madugu is Vice President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Managing Director of Dala Foods -- producers of a variety of tea and beverages in Kano.
 
He said businessmen should learn to keep their businesses moving despite the security challenge, but called on authorities to relax the tough stop and search measures at check points.
 
"All the shops and businesses close to [near] police formations were closed down," said Maduguru. "Since January 2012 up untill today, nothing is operating there."
 
He said business will return if police stations around markets and commercial areas are closed or moved. He suggested that the police should go back to their old locations so business activity could improve.
 
The study notes that security is not the only problem affecting Kano’s business owners.
 
It found that the area is also affectd by an erratic power supply as well as a lack of credit and inconsistent government policies.
 
Ahmed Rabiu, the president of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture said the situation " is being compounded by the continuing  inadequacy in the infrastructure requirements for power, water, access roads, rail services, airport services and even telephone access....Hardly anyone is happy."
 
The Kano official said there are many other issues at play as well.  They include unfavorable exchange rates for investors, high interest rates that make it hard to get loans, the banks’ inability to offer financial assistance, the failure of non-bank financial institutions to support development of industry and commerce, and lack of support by government to encourage business activity.
 
Rabiu suggested one one way to revive the economy is to implement Vision 20:2020, Nigeria’s long term development plan designed to propel the country into the world’s top 20 economies by the end of the decade.
 
One of the plan’s goals is to promote an efficient and globally competitive, private sector that will facilitate the growth of businesses and investments.

Listen to report on the economy in Kano State, Nigeria (by I. Ahmed)
Listen to report on the economy in Kano State, Nigeria (by I. Ahmed)i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video Empire State Building Highlights Cecil the Lion

People gathered in streets and rooftops in Manhattan to see the image highlights that covered 33 floors of the building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs