By Francis Akinnodi
The Federal Government has stated that it would disburse funds to small business owners to cushion the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy.
However, the national president of the Association of Micro-Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), Comrade Saviour reacting to the issue on a national television programme monitored by The Hope, said that most of the funds earmarked for small businesses in past by government did not get to them.
He stated that the funds are usually stolen by government officials.
“The officials in the disbursing agencies are always siphoning the funds and that is the major cause of high unemployment and poverty rates in the country. If they the funds, they will have a multiplier effect on the economy because the business will make more revenue and pay more tax to the government.
“I have been in business for over 14 years and I am the national president of a Membership Business Organisation and I have not accessed any of the intervention funds over the years. That I have not received a dime shows that there is a problem with the disbursement of the funds.
“It shows that the funds do not get to their target audience.”
He added: “The country is the loser in all this as this leads to mass unemployment and poverty.”
He asserted that the harsh economic situation in the country has led to the closure of businesses.
He also disclosed that about four years ago, the membership strength of the Lagos chapter of the association was about 800 but it is about eight.
He argued that the economic situation in Nigeria is so challenging it takes a miracle for any business to survive and thrive.
Iche posited that the high level of inflation in the country has led to the decimation of small businesses, adding that there is an urgent need for the government to formulate policies and programmes that would support the growth of small businesses because small businesses are the driving force of the economy.
He stated that the number of small businesses that the President mentioned to receive the intervention is relatively small to the number of small businesses in the country.