The high exchange rate between the naira and other foreign currencies, especially the US dollar is seriously affecting business.
We spoke with some business owners on their challenges and what they want authorities to do to address the issue…
QUEEN AYO BALOGUN
It’s not only my business, it affects every other business as well. We are all directly or indirectly affected, even if you’re not in any business because what goes around always comes around. The rate of the US dollar to the naira at the moment is alarming and unbearable.
And in our profession, when this kind of a situation occurs, people will be very careful of spending their money on social functions because of fear of uncertainty. Anytime they want to travel in or out of the country, they give it a second thought.
As I speak to you, I am supposed to have travelled to Canada but when I weighed it, I discovered that the exchange rate now is not in support of that. When you consider what you will spend in embarking on the trip and how much they will spray you at the function, you will discover you won’t even break even. So, why the need to stress yourself? The only solution to this problem is not further devaluation of the naira but the government should encourage more local industries to spring up. Not only that, it should also support them financially so that Nigeria won’t depend on more of imported goods. And our currency will compete favourable with the foreign ones, especially the dollar.
SHEDRACK IKEDUE, Shedico Global
The exchange rate has had heavy impact on business, really. We thought with the new government, things would be a bit different but the status quo has been maintained. The key challenge with the high exchange rate is that we struggle to maintain our old prices. We have really fought tooth and nail to ensure we don’t hike our prices and probably scare customers away, but it’s difficult, I must confess. Hopefully, the situation becomes better and we can have a better business environment before the end of the year. If only we had our industries running, we won’t be in such situation where we rely entirely on foreign imports. The business climate here is not favourable.
BUNMI OSOBU, Shai Skincare & Beauty Palour
We import our goods from Europe, Asia and America and our transactions are done mostly in dollars, the
exchange rate has affected the prices of our goods.
The bulk of the work rests with the government but as entrepreneurs, we do all we can to regulate our prices so as to remain in business.
MINA HORSFALL, Mish Ltd
The wide gap between the exchange rate of the naira and the US dollar is really killing business. What this has done is to increase the price of goods and services. And for us in the event management and branding services, we have every reason to complain.
I think the Federal Government should not introduce policies that would not augur well for our business. The naira should be strengthened in the interest of the private sector.
PRINCE DEMOLA ADUNOLA
The skyrocketing rise of the US dollar against the naira has become something else. And that has affected all businesses in Nigeria, not only our sector. We have not been finding things easy at all and no one can predict where the situation is leading us to. I believe the only solution to the problem is not further devaluation of our currency. Instead, we should strengthen the naira so that the local industries will be encouraged to forge ahead. And by encouraging the local industries, there will be more employment opportunities in the land.
SHIRELY IGWE, Shirlz Concepts Ltd
Yes, the Forex crisis is really affecting business. In fact, with the crash of the naira against the US dollar, the price of cosmetics, especially imported ones has increased beyond our reach. The reality is that you can’t pass it to consumers.
The reality is that you can’t pass it to consumers. And this has reduced sales and profit margin. The Central Bank of Nigeria should relax its new forex transaction policy.