This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Dwindling Business Confidence Threatens Nigeria, Others' Growth

A survey has shown a decline in business confidence as well as the lack of improvement in capacity building in Nigeria and other African countries in the last quarter of 2013.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) stated this in their latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS).

The GECS is a regular economic survey of accountants in the world. It gauges the views of ACCA and IMA finance professionals globally.

The report revealed that 35 per cent of respondents in Africa reported a loss of confidence in the prospects of their organisations over the last three months, up from 33 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.

ACCA's Senior Economic Analyst, Manos Schizas said: "Getting small businesses set up and enabling them to grow in Africa will be one of the key components to ensuring healthy recovery within the continent. SMEs are the growth engines that are fuelling African economies and creating employment.

"Business opportunities have continued to fall significantly throughout Africa in the fourth quarter of 2013, ending up very far from their peak at the end of 2012."

The poll also revealed the net effects of a heavy reliance of investment from Asia, saying that as the slowdown in Asian economies continues to gather pace, African economies felt the effects.

It also urged entrepreneurs in the country to invest in locally grown SMEs for economic growth.

"These developments are not surprising, as despite a small uptick in business and investment opportunities, the fundamentals in Africa have generally deteriorated. "Access to growth capital, demand and cash flow conditions have consistently tightened through the second half of 2013 and continued to do so in fourth quarter while input prices and exchange rates destabilised further in the last quarter," it added.

The report also revealed that at the global level, finance professionals had more faith in the strength of the wider economic recovery in the fourth quarter of 2013 than at any time over the last five years. 55 per cent of the respondents believed conditions were improving or about to do so, up from 53 per cent in the third quarter of 2013, while only 42 per cent felt that economic conditions were deteriorating of stagnating, down from 43 per cent in the previous quarter.

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