Nigeria government programs meant to help small businesses are awash with red flags. They have a history of malfeasance and an ineffective track record. Many appear to have lost touch with the very same entrepreneurs they should be helping, like the tireless traders of Balogun Market.
These agencies and programs do not require more funding as officials and even some private sector proponents claim. Rather, they urgently need root-and-branch reform, stronger oversight, and greater transparency aimed at reducing runaway corruption and mitigating its effects. Unless the situation changes, Nigeria’s small business-focused agencies and programs will continue to do more harm than good.