Businesses may not normalise till August 2021—Report

BUSINESSES and brands, hoping to return to ‘winning ways’ soon, after the devastating effects of the COVID 19  pandemic, may need to wait a little bit longer, as a recently-released CEO Report, from Philips Consulting Limited PCL,  has predicted that it would take another 12 months, August 2021, for the nation’s business environment to fully activate and operate optimally.

PCL recently engaged 100 Nigerian business leaders on the current economic landscape and presented the insights in its “CEO Report”, which revealed that 57 per cent of the CEOs expect that the earliest possible time for the business environment in Nigeria to normalize would be August 2021.

The report also indicated that CEOs are increasingly taking responsibility for their companies, and are not necessarily looking up to the state for solutions to the problems occasioned by the pandemic. For a greater awareness on political leadership in the country, the survey also showed that, as against the 79 per cent CEOs who voted in the 2019 general elections, only 67 per cent CEOs have reported that the pandemic would make them more interested in the outcome of the 2023 election.

According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Taiwo, results from the survey revealed the urgent need for the Nigerian government and business leaders to pay close attention to the post-COVID19 policies and strategies of the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America; since that would have the most profound impact on the nation’s business environment.

“At PCL, we are committed to working with our clients and partners to build and develop people’s capabilities, technology systems and processes, effective and robust strategies, and business continuity plans,” he stated.

On fiscal adjustments, the PCL boss added that only 22 per cent of CEOs had laid off staff, as most of them devised proactive ways to keep their workforce engaged and economically productive.

However, due to reduced cash flow, 46 per cent of companies had to roll out pay cuts for their workers, he stated. Another highlight of the Report is that about 83 per cent and 55 per cent of CEOs adopt a Work From Home Strategy and Standby Model Strategy, respectively, and are beginning to question the need for large office spaces. Only 46 per cent of CEOs are considering retaining their current offices, while others will seek smaller, cheaper and shared offices,  or adopt an entirely virtual working model.

The Report, however, indicated the IT sector as the greatest beneficiary of the pandemic, since it experienced a surge in the wake of the pandemic as a result of the shift to remote working.



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