Benedict Peters: Nigerian firms fuelling the recovery

When Nigeria emerges from recession, the way we do business must change forever. This does not just mean an emphasis on diversification; though as the recession has bitten over the last 12 months, the need for diversifying the source of government revenues and our export base has never been more urgent. It means changing the fundamental approach that we – businesses – take to managing the primary fuel of our economic growth: oil.

Whilst there is nothing desirable about the hardships placed on businesses and their loyal employees in times of recession, one cannot deny the cleansing effect of the economic cycle. Recessions force businesses to identify, eliminate and fortify pockets of previously inefficient activity. Fat is cut, waste is curtailed and sweeping efforts to streamline are pushed to front of the queue.

The businesses which will not adapt rarely survive the downturn. But those who do emerge, emerge in a win-win situation. Not only are they more dominant in the market – a position which they then have to defend against newer entrants in the upturn – but through the newly found efficiencies, they are leaner and therefore more profitable…


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