When people first read the title “Why Nigerian entrepreneurs still lament”, the first thing to come to the minds of several people is that this piece addresses the business concerns and challenges of physical business operators, but this article has a dual purpose: to address the business challenges of physical business operators as well as those of online marketers and entrepreneurs. Perhaps this piece should have been titled “Why Nigerian internet entrepreneurs still lament”. But then, this piece is about the challenges that many Nigerians face and that thus stifle their efforts at making headway in their chosen offline and online business start-ups:
a. Negative international perceptions: Most especially for Nigerian entrepreneurs and freelancers who desire to make a living online or on the internet, the negative perceptions that other nations have about Nigerians as fraudsters and scammers are not helping matters. There is no debating the fact that many Nigerians within and abroad have painted the nation black through orchestrated frauds and scams, but their percentage is still insignificant compared to million honest others that are desirous of legitimate online businesses. Yet the stigma is still there, and it is still hurting and harming us. As long as you are a Nigerian working within Nigeria for foreigners or working online, you are regarded as scammers and set aside as desperately corrupt people. This in itself is killing initiatives and discouraging honest Nigerians from any sort of business initiatives that involve the internet and people of other nations.
b. Online payment options: Most Nigerians struggling to eke out a living on the internet still face the problems of online payment options. However honest or legitimate the internet business or effort they undertake online, Nigerians are not allowed to earn for what they could labour for – and when they labour for anything online they are denied the ability to receive payments for them. The globally major internet payment processors don’t want to have anything to do with Nigerians, and the Nigerian government is doing nothing to remove the corruption indexes bedevilling us. International payment processors like Paypal, Moneybooker or Skrill, AlertPay or Payza among others would rather close shops than have anything to do with Nigerians, regardless of the legitimacy of any online business they engage in. This is affecting most Nigerian entrepreneurs who have set up one online business or the other, and many Nigerian freelancers are also denied legitimate sources of working and making money or receiving their earnings online.
c. Poor electricity power: The issue of poor electricity power supply is now new in Nigeria, and while the government is fighting tooth and nail to improve electricity supply to the nooks and crannies of the country, it continues to consume a major chunk of the incomes and profits of business ventures across the country. Physical and internet entrepreneurs lament the non-availability of constant power supply, and the high costs of fuels like petrol, diesel and other PMS products is not helping matters when entrepreneurs even decide on purchasing and using power generators.