The race to the 2023 elections has started! You can't tune in to the news or scroll through your social media feed without coming across any information regarding the upcoming elections. It's literally in our faces and hard to ignore.
I'm sure you're thinking, "what is my business with the election? all I want to do is to sell my goods and services to my customers in peace". But unfortunately, while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, running your business in peace would be impossible if the country's political situation is unstable. This is because politics and the economy are interrelated.
Let me break it down for you, Nigeria is a democratic state (side-eye), and the elected president makes policies that drive economic growth and development. A favourable economic state means you can thrive as a business owner with little to no hassle. Won't that make you happy? It absolutely will!
Why should you care?
The country's current state makes it difficult for your business to sail through. Here's why you should care about the 2023 election:
Inflation means a general increase in the prices of goods and services. In other words, yesterday's price is not today's price, and in the Nigerian case, it is not tomorrow's price. Therefore, the rate at which prices of goods are skyrocketing does not only affect you as a business owner but also your customers.
You buy from your suppliers at an increased price which means you sell to your customers at a higher price. The sudden price increase will mean not all your customers will be able to afford your products. Along the line, you discover your profit margin has been reduced. Imagine laboring hard only to make little to no profit. What a nightmare!
Our fatherland is far from a haven where we can travel freely from one state to another. The incessant bandit attacks have made it challenging for interstate traders to trade peacefully. Who wants to put their lives in harm's way?
The recent attack in the northwest has made it unsafe for traders in other states to buy agricultural produce from states like Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and so on. As a result, prices of goods like tomatoes and pepper have doubled. A sachet of tomato paste used to be N50, now it’s sold at N100, and in some places N150.
As a reseller in Lagos, this means it would be more difficult and expensive to buy goods from any other part of the country. I am sure this is having a terrible effect on your business.
The dollar-to-naira rate choke as well as the rate to any other foreign currency. Earlier this week, the dollar-to-naira rate at the black market was at N620, as at this morning the rate is now at N644. It seems never-ending at this point.
Many Nigerian business owners buy from abroad and resell locally. Sellers are buying at a higher price almost on a daily basis due to the incessant exchange rate, the cost of shipping, and clearance fee. This affects the amount you sell your products. Since the purchasing power of your customers isn’t increasing at the same rate, they won’t be able to continue patronizing you. By now, you should know where I’m heading with this.
Besides the mind-blowing exchange rate, the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) has put certain restrictions that make it tougher to carry out international transactions. "Wahala no come too plenty like this?"
What you can do
As you already know, running a business is hard but running a business in Nigeria is a special type of hard. It isn't beans.
At this point, you are aware that as a business owner, the country's political state is as much of your concern as everyone else. So here's how you can get involved:
Many candidates are contesting for one post or the other. Please educate yourself about the latest updates on these candidates and their parties. So you can decide early on who your preferred candidates are.
More importantly, don't concern yourself only with the presidential and gubernatorial posts. There are several other positions starting from your local government area to the senate.
Run For Office
I bet you're wondering, "what does a business owner like myself have to do with becoming a politician?" Well, before you run away, other than educating yourself, you can contest for more minor positions in your local government area. So basically, start from the grassroots.
Now, why should you do that? As a business owner, na only you know wetin your eyes dey face. Imagine being in a position to formulate policies that will favor yourself and other business owners. It's a win-win situation! As an entrepreneur and a politician, the influence you will have will be unmatched.
If you don't already have a PVC (Permanent Voter’s Card) , this is a reminder that you should set time aside to get it while you still can. If you are of legal age, there should be no excuse for you not to get your PVC. I'm sorry, I don't want to hear it.
It doesn't end there; after getting your PVC, on the day of the elections, go out and vote. Follow all the necessary procedures. By doing any or all of the above, you have played your part in creating a more favourable environment for business owners in Nigeria to excel.
While you get involved in the election, you don’t have to neglect your business. Use Kippa to manage and run your business seamlessly.
Run your business with Ease
A crucial part of what the Kippa app does for your business is analyzing financial reports to help you make better business decisions; help you understand cash flow. And overall, it gives you insights that reveal the bigger picture of how your business progresses.
All the tools you need to start/run/ grow your business, your go-to bookkeeping, accounting and business bank app; Kippa gives your business a way to measure your overall performance. It also provides information to make decisions related to your business, and it helps you ascertain your revenue and income.