COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND PERFORMANCE OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES (SMES) IN LOKOJA, KOGI STATE, NIGERIA
Enemona Negedu Ameji*1, Usio Uchechi Taiga2 & Muhammed Akpai Amade1
1Department of Economics, Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State
2Department of Economics, Federal University of Lafia, Lafia, Nasarawa State
The spread of Covid-19 pandemic across the world no doubt hit the global economy immensely. Business including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) became vulnerability to supply and demand shock. This has also invariably inhibited normal operations or activities of SMEs in Nigeria. Therefore, this study examined how Covid-19 has affected Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Lokoja, Kogi State of Nigeria. The study used a sample comprising of 100 respondents which include both small and medium scale business owners. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire and was analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings showed that business owners in Lokoja are aware of Covid-19 and its mode of spread. It is also revealed that income of SMEs reduced, prices of materials inputs increased and some workers in SMEs are laid-off. Equally, the demand for the products of SMEs has declined due to restrictions in movement. Hence, the study recommends that government should provide effective emergency funding programs such as zero interest loans, grants, and tax reduction or tax holidays. SMEs could improve on its performance by participating on online-based platforms to advertise and sell their products.
Key Words: Covid-19, Coronavirus, SMEs Performance, Nigeria.