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PwC: Nigerian businesses most concerned about liquidity, staff safety

PwC: Nigerian businesses most concerned about liquidity, staff safety
April 17
12:59 2020
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Business owners in Nigeria are most concerned about sustaining liquidity and the safety of their staff as they grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is according to a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria.

The survey, which had 3000 respondents ranging from managers and business owners, examined the economic implications and policy responses to COVID-19.

When asked what their top business concerns were, 22.5% of the respondents mentioned liquidity which is the availability of immediate cash to pay bills especially after business activities were disrupted.

This was followed by the safety of staff at 15.4%, which PwC describes as “an impressive indication that Nigerian businesses have people focus and were not only concerned about their profitability”.

The third significant business concern identified was infrastructure for remote working (14.6%) which further buttressed the need for access to electricity and internet connectivity.

Taiwo Oyedele, PwC fiscal policy partner and West Africa tax leader, said most businesses (78.4%) do not plan to lay off staff as a result of the crisis.

“This presents a very positive picture. However, decisions on staff retention are often top management decisions and it could mean that a good percentage of respondents may not be privy to such plans by their organisations,” he said.

Other businesses (21.6%) admit that they will lay off various percentages of staff as a consequence of the pandemic.

Of this group, however, 55.3% do not think government intervention will influence their decision on laying off staff with the rest indicating they would retain their employees if government’s intervention were able to take care of varying percentages of their staff wage bill.

As part of its societal impact, PwC has indicated that it would provide free business continuity support services to small businesses employing between five to 50 employees who intend to retain all their staff during this period.

Majority of the survey respondents think that governments interventions have either been grossly inadequate (23.8%) or inadequate (43.9%) with 17.5% expressing indifference to what government has done up to the date of the survey.

Only 14.4% agree that the government’s intervention has met their expectations.

“This provides a clear message to government both at the federal and state levels pointing either to the need to do more or to better communicate what is being done already to help shape public perception,” Oyedele said.

Among the top two areas that respondents believe government’s intervention should be focused include tax relief (30%), provision of loans at zero or low interest rate (29.3%), and cash transfer to the poor (16.9%).

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1 Comment

  1. Urah
    Urah April 17, 13:45

    We are strongly hoping that Nigerians will not have to go through another batch of unemployment since the rate is not even impressive to begin with.

    I think federal government should strongly advice against laying off staffs and give out some remuneration to companies that heed them well.

    Reply to this comment

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