Nigeria’s informal sector is booming amid slumping oil prices. Oil accounts for 95% of foreign income and two thirds of government revenue but low prices have led many entrepreneurs to explore other avenues, with estimates now suggesting that the informal sector is creating revenues of 178 billion dollars a year.
“It is through this furniture business that I take care of my family.. at least I know how many I have been able to train …I have even trained graduates” said Mr. Abdulahi Musa, a carpenter
Abdulahi Musa has one eye on the environment and the other on his bottom line. In order to make a living he turns recycled wood and materials into furniture- And despite having never completed basic education, an inborn entrepreneurial spirit allows him to employ high school and college graduates. Musa represents unregistered untaxed businesses thriving in the shadows – his is part of a booming grey ecomony that analysts say is making significant contributions to Nigeria’s GDP.
There are complications and challenges for budding entrepreneurs, they are forced to look out for themselves with no access to credit and and no protection by the law. But these businesses are a lifeline for millions of Nigerians and analysts say the government has taken notice. One way to help formalize these businesses and boost government revenue is the implementation of entrepreneurship programmes around the country.