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Business Trends to Watch Out For in 2020

If you’re wondering what the New Year holds for business in Nigeria, look no further. Here at Connect Nigeria, we’ve come up with a list of things that will almost certainly play out in the next twelve months. These givens will determine how the economy performs; some of it may even directly impact your hustle.   

We will also be making a couple of safe predictions. You may want to plan for them as well.

Here’s our list of trends to monitor (and react to) in the year 2020.

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1. New Tax Regimes

A number of revisions to the nation’s tax rules are set to kick in this year. If you’re interested in finding out about the headline changes, have a look at our article on the 2019 finance bill. It’s expected that this bill will be signed by President Buhari sometime in 2020.

Among the big tweaks in that bill are the changes to VAT, the exemption of smaller businesses from income tax, and the expansion of excise duties to include various imported goods.      

2. The AfCFTA Comes into Effect

The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should come into effect by June if all goes as planned. If it does, our African neighbours will be free to sell their products and services within Nigeria without restrictions. And if you’re a business, you will also be free to sell in other African countries that are opening up their borders as well.

Here’s a rundown of the industries likely to benefit (and be hit) by the continent-wide deal. 

3. Reduction in Bank Charges

If the CBN’s circular from late in December was adhered to, the reduction in a number of bank charges will have already come into effect at the time of writing this.

The downward revisions of ATM maintenance fees and transfers could encourage more people to use banking services. This could mean that more small businesses will open accounts (with their Tax Identification Numbers of course). 

4. A Deepening of Financial Technology

We will almost certainly see a deepening of financial technology in Nigeria.

This sector performed quite strongly in the previous year. According to the CBN, there were 74,669,769 web payments valued at over ₦344 billion between January and September of 2019. These numbers are expected to rise this year as they have for most of the past decade.

Fintech isn’t just evolving in its own space. It’s changing the way banks operate in the country. Traditional banks have taken to more tech-driven solutions, and are innovating away from bank halls and towards full digital services.

Find our comprehensive listings of businesses in Nigeria here

5. An Expansion of Renewable and Off-Grid Power

This hasn’t been on the lips of many people outside of the energy sector, but we may be on the edges of a power revolution in Nigeria. This ‘revolution’ could continue its silent course towards becoming the norm over the next few months.

If you’ve been sticking by the news, you may have heard of the million-dollar funding received by Arnergy and Rensource, both renewable energy startups, in 2019. These new generation power companies are bringing cleaner, off-grid power to businesses in a country bedevilled by incessant power cuts.

We predict that solar will become a power source for many more households and companies this year. It will come with new business opportunities for players along this nascent power distribution chain.

Featured Image Source: Nigeria Electricity Hub

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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