The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), has commended the Abia House of Assembly for the passage of the Disability Bill. Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director, CCD, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
“I received with joy today the news of the passage of Abia State Disability Bill by Chinedu Orji led Abia House of Assembly.
“The passage of this bill is a strong demonstration by the house that all lives are precious, in particular the lives of Abians with disabilities.
“Especially as Persons with Disabilities in the state are the most excluded in governance at the subnational level in Nigeria,” he said.
Anyaele said that the presence of a legal framework for the protection of the rights and dignity of PWDs was a welcomed development in the state.
He said that with the passage of the bill, there would be an end to exclusion of Abia people with disabilities in governance by government and none state actors.
He called on the Clerk of the House to expedite action on the bill for onward transmission to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for his assent.
He also called on Ikpeazu not to hesitate in signing the bill into law, adding that his wife had made great commitment and contributions toward getting the bill passed.
“We thank Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, wife of the Governor of Abia State for her solidarity with the disability community during this campaign for the passage of the bill.
“Nkechi addressed the House of Assembly on the July 15, 2021 on the need to pass the Disability Bill and today the house has done the needful,” he said.
Anyaele also appreciated the disability community in the state for the resilience, consistency and push in advocating and lobbying for the passage of the bill.
Persons With Disabilities have bemoaned their continued exclusion from government programmes, policies and activities, calling for urgent implementation of the National Disability Act to put things right.
The group made the call during a National Disability Dialogue organised in Lagos by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) to brief relevant stakeholders on the successes, commitments, achievements, assessments and implementations of the National Disability Act. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event, ‘`One Day National Disability Dialogue’’, was put together by CCD with the support of Ford Foundation.
It had in attendance commissioners from across the states and a representative from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Also, the executive and governing board of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the General Manager of Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities from the six geopolitical zones, funding partners and other CSOs were in attendance.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the CCD, Mr David Anyaele, said the inclusion of persons with disabilities in governments programmes, policies and activities was essential to their personal and social development.
“If we must say Nigeria is inclusive it must begin with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“It must start from the state government, it must start from the private sector by removing all forms of barriers that hinder people with disabilities from participating in the society.
“What we have done or what we are doing today is to present to Nigerians the extent of the implementation of the National Disability Act. “We are sharing today a report that focuses on Nigeria, Our Disability, Assessment of Compliance and Implementation of the National Disability Law,’’ he said.
Anyaele added that certain barriers should be removed for the inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities in the society to improve their standard of living, alleviate poverty and provision of equal opportunities.
“When we talk about barriers, barriers have to deal with areas where there are no access to public infrastructure building, no accessible toilet, no accessible stairs or accessible handrails or lift to take the person upstairs.
“There is a barrier already where individuals from our African perspective, their to attitude to persons with disabilities see such persons as not worthy to participate in the society,’’ Anyaele said.
“When government programmes, policies and activities do not track disability issues, people with disabilities will not be able to benefit and their poverty will continue to increase.
“These are the barriers that must be removed if we must say Nigeria is a society that promotes equal opportunity,’’ he added.
Also, Prof. Omololu Shoyombo, of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), in his report conducted in February 2022 on “Assessment of the Implementation and Compliance with the National Disability Act’’ showed that the level of knowledge and awareness about the National Disability Act is still relatively low.
Shoyombo is a Research Consultant for CCD.
In his research findings also, the level of compliance and implementation of the provision of the law was also very low.
“There is general need for more advocacy and understanding of the law.
The advocacy should extend to reach the rural areas and the law should be broken down into local dialects and languages for proper digestion by persons with Disabilities” He also recommended that the National Commission of Person with Disabilities (NCPWD) should be separated from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs for more dedicated services for the needs of person with Disabilities.
“The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities should share its agenda, mission and vision with its primary constituency (PWDs) so that they can be aware of the activities of the national commission,’’ he highlighted.
Evaluating the report findings, a Professor of Law, Afeisimi Badaiki, said the level of awareness created by the Federal Ministry of Information was not satisfactory.
“Though the ministry of information is responsible for dissemination of information, its function is supposed to be accumulative in addition to the role of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities to ensure that people are aware of the existence of the law”.
He also called for the enforcement of the law “Members of the public should be able to institute some actions to enforce the right of persons with Disabilities as enriched in the law,” Badaiki said.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has advised the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA)to build the capacity of health workers in Nigeria to enhance compliance with the Disability Act.
Mrs Peace Ezekiel, CCD Programme Officer, said this at the closing of a training for 182 workers of NPHCDA in Abuja on sections, provisions and penalties of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act, 2018.
Ezekiel said that since the NPHCDA played pivotal role in the health sector, its contributions toward enhancing healthcare for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) could not be over-emphasised.
She also appealed to NPHCDA to set an example for other healthcare agencies by putting in place PWDs friendly assistive devices to aid their access to its head office in Abuja.
Speaking, Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director, CCD said that the training was to build the capacities of relevant health stakeholders on the contents of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act.
Anyaele, represented by Mr Humphrey Ukeaja, CCD Lead Researcher, said that the major challenge of health policy actors remained lack of awareness on the law and its provisions.
“Based on the findings from our 2021 assessment of access to COVID-19 vaccines for PWDs. “We discovered the challenges faced by social and health policy makers includes but not limited to lack of sufficient knowledge and scanty data of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
“Also poor knowledge on the rights, needs and other issues of critical concerns to PWDs especially with regards to the national disability act.
“We can attribute this to poor engagement by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for creating awareness and sensitising the public on the national disability law and its provisions,” he said.
Anyaele added:“We believe this training and capacity building will help to support planning.
“It will also guide health service providers on their roles in providing and implementing proper health polices with reference to the law and for benefits of PWDs.” Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, NPHCDA, applauded the initiative of the group to train and build capacity of NPHCDA staff on the provisions of the disability act in relation to health services providers.
Shuaib, represented by Mrs Nneka Onwu, a Deputy Director at the agency, said that the NPHCDA was ready to collaborate with stakeholders toward enhancing compliance to the law.
He promised to cascade the knowledge gained at the training to its member of staff nationwide.
Mr Nzemadu Aloysius, also aDeputy Director at the agency, urged CCD and other disability organisations not to relent in creating awareness and sensitising state actors and non-state actors on the act.
Gill Atkinson, the Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission has called for the scaling up of effective implementation of disability laws in Nigeria.
Atkinson made the call when people with disabilities under the aegis of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a Non-Governmental Organisation visited her on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to her, the legal framework on disabilities in Nigeria are quite good and can do much for you but the implementation is the challenge.
“Part of the challenges in Nigeria is implementing the legal frameworks but attention should equally be paid on cultural barriers and the impact on persons with disabilities,’’ she said.
Earlier, the Executive Director of CCD, Mr David Anyaele, commended the British government for supporting issues concerning people with disabilities in Nigeria.
He, however, solicited the support of the British government in enabling CCD to have a peer learning with their United Kingdom counterparts on disability laws.
According to him, the British government has been our partner on ensuring the mainstreaming of issues concerning people with disabilities in their programmes.
“We feel that interacting with our peers over there will give us knowledge and help us to know some of the success stories they have achieved and areas we should strengthen our focus.
“So, that is why we feel that their support for us to do a study tour on disability movement is critical.
“It will enable us to identify low hanging fruits of knowledge that we can tap into to be able to respond to disability issues in Nigeria,’’ Anyaele said.
Anyele, however, expressed concern that lack of capacity by some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to effectively comply with disability laws have resulted to increased discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
According to him, the National Disability Act (2018) has been weakly enforced in majority of the public institutions in Nigeria.
“Government should adopt a multi-sectoral approach to the task of successfully eliminating the physical, communication, attitudinal, cultural and institutional barriers faced by people with disabilities.
“Specifically, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities saddled with the implementation responsibility should build synergy with MDAs through consistent advocacy to scale up proper implementation of the Act,’’ he said.
While advocating specific yearly budget line for all the concerned line MDAs, Anyaele noted that it would increase efforts toward the inclusion and welfare of PWDs.
“Especially, by prioritising their welfare during health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and elections,’’ he added.
Anyaele further urged the National Assembly to evoke its powers to enable proper implementation of the Act.
“The National Assembly should take appropriate measures to ensure that MDAs of the Federal Government implement the National Disability Act through oversight and budgetary approvals,’’ he said.
He also emphasised the need to build the capacity of the MDAs for full optimisation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disability Act (2018).
Ahead of the 2023 General Elections, the Centre for Citizens With Disabilities (CCD) has solicited the support of Lagos State Office For Disabilities Affairs (LASODA) and Lagos State Independence Electoral Commission (LASIEC) for an inclusive electoral process.Mr. Peter Ekemini, Programme Officer, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), made the call on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to LASODA, at the Lagos State Secretariat, Lagos.Ekemini said that Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) encountered systematic exclusion in the election process, saying particularly those that participated in July 2021 Local Government election in Lagos State faced numerous challenges.He said there was a need to tackle and bring down identified challenges, adding that LASODA should collaborate with LASIEC to ensure that PWDs were not left by election observers, ad-hoc staff, and other key stakeholders in the processes.According to him, the challenges which pose as barriers that limit equal participation of PWDs in the electoral process include lack of sign language for deaf clusters, lack of braille format for the blind, and magnifying glasses for the albinos.“LASODA should always make a deliberate effort to ascertain from LASIEC that these are available, accessible in an understandable usable format, particularly for PWDs in the next years and subsequent elections.“Security agents should be trained to give priority to PWDs during the election and electioneering, also, sister agencies in order to create equal voting access,” he added.Mrs. Florence Austin, the Finance of CCD, disclosed that the body had embarked on a project targeted at breaking barriers that prevent PWDs from accessing airport services on an equal basis with others.Austin, who spoke on behalf of Mr. David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, said that the Coalition Of Disability Organisation (CODO) in partnership with CCD, Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria (SCIAN), and Hope Alive for Possible Initiative (HAPI), we're presently working on a project, “Enhancing Access to Airport with PWDs”.Meanwhile, she called on the Federal Airport of Nigeria (FAAN) to urgently conduct an audit of all airports in the country for disabilities facilities and provisions which must involve the Organisation for Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) including other stakeholders.“They should procure and deploy mobile wheelchairs to support boarding and disembarking of physically challenge passengers from the aircraft, as well as friendly buses at the tarmacs,” Austin added.She recommended that special training be organized for airport and airline personnel on the needs of PWDs and how best to meet and assist them, as rendering assistance must be made mandatory.Responding, the General Manager of LASODA, Mr. Dare Dairo, who applauded the CCD and partners for the initiative, assured the stakeholders of their maximum support that PWDs would not be left behind, as emphasized by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state.Dairo expressed delight at the enthusiasm of Nigerians in the election processes and assured them that the office would be on INEC to ensure PWDs got their PVCs early enough.“At LASODA, we believe in the systematic chain, we really need the system to work because when the system works, you don’t need to know anybody to access what should be ordinarily available.“There is no single hospital or classroom under LASODA. So, we need to work with the Ministry of Health and Education in order to achieve these mandates, so everything still boils down to a system.“We have to create the right structure, understanding for synergy because synergy is the way to achieve a common goal, note, civil society worldwide has passed the stage of carrying placards,” he added.“It is therefore fundamental that we bring the system to speed in order to ensure that inclusion is on the front burner, you are not alone in the fight,” he added.The LASODA GM urged the groups and stakeholders to be more proactive, especially with the political season and electioneering in the nation to attain a common goal.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has solicited for inclusion and equal participation of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral processes, ahead of the 2023 General Election.Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, made the call at a dialogue with Frontline Political Actors and PWDs which held on Wednesday at Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.Anyaele spoke on findings of an assessment of the Local Government elections held in July 2021 in Lagos State, within the context of the special provision made by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) in collaboration the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA).On the sideline, Luka said there were no plans by INEC to extend the ongoing Voters Registration exercise, adding that the deadline remained June 30, 2022.Also Mrs Olukanni-Abochai Eniola, Director of Medical Rehabilitation Mobility Appliances & Aids, LASODA, in her remark, said that the body was passionate about the inclusiveness of PWDs, especially in the area of exercising their nationality mandate.“This is to say it is fundamental for the PWDs to have mouth and input in every decision if they want to go along with the majority or not, as related to electoral process in the country,“LASODA appreciates the fact that INEC is showing that they are recognising the PWDs and they must not be left behind in fundamental issues in the political arena,” Eniola said.
Energy, Capital & Power (www.EnergyCapitalPower.com) spoke with Rogers Beall, CEO of Fortesa International Senegal (https://bit.ly/39CCDtJ) about the role of gas power in driving African economic development, the role of European markets, pricing and future investment.
Please tell us what you think about the role gas power will play in the global energy transition.
Gas is essential to the transition as a fast-track mechanism and stepping stone to decarbonisation, ensuring a rapidly developing energy supply that builds African economies. At a basic level, it replaces heavy fuel oils, diesel fuel and coal as a smaller footprint alternative within much of the existing generation infrastructure, equipment and facilities. But it also allows African economies to compete with industrialized powers in the global marketplace, driving the continent's social and economic progress.
Of course, natural gas is a general term and we normally differentiate it into two types. Most of the countries that currently use gas in Africa use associated gas, that is, gas that comes along with oil production. And for years, we burned it as a byproduct, literally burning enough gas to fuel Africa's energy demand. Fortunately, this is being phased out and the monetization of globally important gas has affected Africa. As a fuel source, its carbon footprint is about 30% less than that of crude oil. And with the European Union recently reversing years of blocking gas development, now labeling it a green fuel source, international markets have been opened up, which the MSGBC nations are ideally positioned to supply.
Why are so many African countries still burning?
Historically, cheap gas extraction in most of Africa has not been off to a good start. Gas wells cost more than oil wells with higher hazards because the gas is volatile at the surface and blowouts can be deadly. But above all it was a question of money. Oil prices were and are high at around $108 a barrel, while many of the oil producing countries regulated their own gas prices set at next to nothing. Nigeria, for example, had the price of gasoline at 10 cents in MMBTU, then 20 years ago they raised it to 20 cents. Yesterday, natural gas reached $9 in the US. Governments kept gas prices low in the mistaken belief that it would mean cheap energy for their citizens, but in reality it meant that no one was investing in using the resource, so what the infrastructure was never built. Senegal has the correct idea that it is legally a free market for gas and many other nations are catching up, with LNG on the rise, new European market opportunities and world-class gas mega-developments now springing up in the MSGBC (https://bit.ly/3yKZYnA).
How do you feel about the energy transition?
I am 100% in favor of the energy transition and selling excess gas to Europe. Here in Dakar, the smoke from the coal chimney in the Bargny settlement spreads through the city and the pollution can be seen. Gas is an essential, cleaner and greener fuel source until we have effective renewable energy for Africa's 1.1 billion people.
Most importantly, people need cost-effective energy, and domestic gas delivers. The cost per unit of energy production for diesel as a power source is nearly double that of gas, yet much of Senegal's energy production relies on this heavy fuel at $14 in MMBTU. Also, of the equivalent of $9 you could spend on gasoline, half of that goes directly back into the local economy as taxes and to the people who develop the resource instead of being sent back to the country that exported the diesel fuels to Senegal.
During the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022 conference (https://bit.ly/3a4fuRb), discussions will focus on the role that oil and gas will continue to play in Africa's energy future. What topics would you like to see addressed at West Africa's premier energy event and how will Africa, Fortesa and Senegal fit into the dialogue?
For me, the key is that African energy must first develop Africa. Today the Shell station ran out of fuel because we have to import diesel and when the supply fails, the economy stops. They're talking about using gasoline in the new combined cycle gas turbine power plant here, but gasoline is more expensive than diesel fuel. We need investments in cleaner fuels for development.
Senegal already has more than 30% renewable energy in its network. But data from Europe shows that renewables are less than 40% efficient on average, reducing the supply and profitability of these sources. Therefore, I would encourage dialogues on how to boost investment in domestic gas exploration. The oil industry stopped exploring years ago; there is not 10% of the exploration going on today that was going on globally a decade ago. There is only development and exploitation. So it is up to us working here in Africa to change the narrative from talking about exports first. We must take the initiative in our own defense to develop gas fuel without waiting for other risk-taking investors to come along while we still have many without access to electricity, while we all pay too much here for the electricity we have because of the costs petroleum fuels and resulting pollution, and African onshore prospecting can accomplish much of this for Africa and right now!
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Abia says it will collaborate with Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to ensure they have equal access and participation in the political process in the state.The IPAC Chairman, Mr Ceekay Igara, said this on Thursday in Umuahia, during an interactive forum between the council and PWD community in the state.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum was organised by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a non-governmental organisation that seeks to protect the interest of PWDs.The forum was meant to engage the leadership of IPAC to support the implementation of PWDs’ participation in political parties’ administration and activities in the state.Igara urged PWDs to articulate what they considered to be their inhibitions so that the council would in turn present them to political parties and make sure they were all achieved.He said: “In capacity, you are not short-changed. What is important is that you are coming out to participate.“Almost all political parties have robust positions for PWDs, but it is important that you take decisions by yourselves and make sure that you participate fully.“You should forget about these stipends that emergency philanthropists give to you and make your decisions to be part of the process.”Also, the Deputy Chairman, Mr Tony Ojih, said that it was most necessary that the healthy among the PWDs should indicate their political interest through the political parties.The IPAC Secretary, Mr Uzodinma Nwoko, urged PWDs to participate actively in the political process, starting from the ward level.According to Nwoko, who doubles as the state Chairman of Young Progressives Party, as an individual, you need to first of all have a political will, then contest election in a political party.Earlier, the Abia PWD Chairman, Mr Iroabuchi Alozie, urged IPAC to advise political parties to have quota for their members in the South-East.This, according to him, will help to ensure that PWDs are actively involved in party administration and activities.He pointed out that most of them were highly placed individuals but could not do much because they were being relegated to the background.The Executive Director, CCD, Mr David Anyaele, said the programme was organised to end the discrimination against PWDs’ active involvement in internal political party administration and general political process.Anyaele, who was represented by Mr Samuel Ekeoma, urged IPAC to encourage political parties to put into practice the provisions made for PWDs in their party constitutions.He frowned at the Abia State Government’s delay in the passage of disability bill needed to create an enabling environment for PWDs to be actively involved in political activities in the state.
Source Credit: NAN
The Center for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has advised the National Commission for People with Disabilities (NCPWD) to partner with the Federal Civil Service Commission in its recruitment to ensure it is inclusive, open and transparent.
Mr. David Anyaele, the group's Chief Executive Officer, gave the advice in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Anyaele said it was imperative that the commission partner with the FCSC to ensure that no person is left behind on the basis of disability.
“The association is imperative to ensure that any hiring is open, transparent and that no qualified person is left out of the opportunity on the basis of disability.
“CCD calls on the National Commission for People with Disabilities in collaboration with the Federal Civil Service Commission and the Federal Character Commission to implement the appropriate policy to ensure that no one section of the country dominates the commission.
“NCPWD should seek approval for the hiring of an all-inclusive staff member to enhance their capacity and capabilities to fulfill their mandate and mission.
“It is imperative that the commission work with the federal civil service commission to ensure that each hiring exercise is open, transparent, and that no qualified person with a disability is left out of the opportunity on the basis of disability.
'This is important because applicants with disabilities are painfully discriminated against by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the extent that citizens with disabilities have been picketing MDAs demanding to be offered employment.
"As such an agency that focuses on disability issues, it must ensure that qualified people with disabilities have a greater majority on the commission's staff," he said.
Anyaele said the advice was also based on the unbalanced composition of the commission's staff in which of the 61 staff members, 48 were people without disabilities, while only 13 were people with disabilities and others were volunteers.
“This disability-hostile composition of the commission's staff is unacceptable for an agency that has responsibilities for education, health care, and the protection and promotion of the social, economic and civil rights of citizens with disabilities in Nigeria. .
“We are aware of the endemic public service recruitment policy in Nigeria, where politicians, ministers, members of the national assembly, governors and even councilors use their proximity to the ruling party to gain employment.
"The NCPWD should not hire any professionals, as the commission is a specialized government agency that requires competent personnel to fulfill its mandate," he said.
Anyaele said that many career professionals were within the disability community and were employable and should be considered first in any hire.
He called on disability activists across the country to ensure an end to discrimination and other harmful practices against people with disabilities in all spheres and across the country.
Anyaele also reiterated CCD's commitment to continue monitoring trends in policy to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are protected from discrimination and other harmful practices.
By Timi Olubiyi, Ph.D. As businesses grow many decisions come to bear from marketing to funding, expansion, investments, operations, logistics, staffing, technology adoption, and so on, all to enhance the business productivity. Without a doubt, just like individuals make poor choices and bad decisions businesses do too. Business leaders and entrepreneurs make bad decisions not because they are not clever or experienced, but because they are humans. Certainly, humans are never perfect decision-makers at all, a bad decision can occur once in a while or repeatedly and such is the case with business leaders, entrepreneurs, top management, and/or owner-managers of businesses around as well.As important as decision-making is in business operations, the good news is that business failures have been identified largely to be due to poor decision-making by the operators, owners, or business managers. Why is this good news? In my opinion, understanding the major cause of past business failures could help restrain many entrepreneurs or businesses from repeating this error clearly. Since poor decision-making has been identified as a major concern for business sustainability, therefore, making a good choice most time is important for any business, though this can be argued.In business, no matter the structure in place, decision-making is key and is one of the main indicators of a high-performing business or one of the indicators of how healthy a business is. Remember, not having a decision-making process is in itself a decision on its own. I have observed keenly that a large number of the businesses be it large or small in Nigeria, particularly the ones in the industrialized States and areas, relish taking shortcuts as a normal practice and they hardly ever have an articulated decision-making process within their businesses. It is rather worse in small-scale businesses where decision-making could be the sole responsibility of the operators or business owners. In fact, in small-scale businesses, the most common cause of poor decision is that the operators are so dominant with excessive managerial control that they see decision-making as their sole right without any recourse to the ideas or opinions of employees or others. This is the big issue really.Furthermore, no initiative or contributions from employees and subordinates are ever considered, key decision making is never participatory and this sometimes leads to business concerns. A decision-making responsibility before, during, and after any implementation of a task in a business should not be the entire decision of the business owners. Playing the obvious role of the sole expert in all departments, units, and concerns of the business operations by the owners is never sustainable but damaging, this action has been captured as one of the major causes of the incidence of widespread business failures amongst small -scale businesses in the country.A good decision can enable a business to thrive and survive long-term, while a poor decision can lead a business into failure. A common behavior of leaving things to chances when decisive action ought to be taken are also decisions but a poor one at that, which can bring huge consequences on the business. This worrying development amongst small-scale business operators has cost many their fortune, particularly with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) which has been impacting the economy and businesses negatively. It should be a time for decision-making for businesses and not a time to operate aloof. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world and also signaled a new era for businesses, therefore, there is a need for business operators to take strategic decisions, most notably in the manufacturing, retail, and service sectors due to technology disruptions.Yet business operators in these mentioned sectors disregard this all-important activity. The failure of any business or venture in making good and quality decisions could be a result of many factors, such as inexperience, lack of time, stress, overwork, and pressure from stakeholders among others. All these can lead to poor decision-making and the eventual failure of any business. The quality of decisions in any business directly impacts its performance and overall business outcomes.Small business operators should understand that it is healthy for staff to disagree over decisions if the views defer. It only helps to make a proper and effective decision for the business at the end of the day. Leaders should purposefully create a culture where debate and disagreement are welcome. Remember, decision-making is the action or process of thinking through possible options and uncertain outcomes, and selecting the best option concerning the business. This decision-making could bother on marketing, financing, customer satisfaction, investment, and technology usage in the business.It is often shocking that once known and thriving businesses can suddenly go under and cease to operate as a result of what most times seem to be poor decision-making and mismanagement. In the case of big and widely known multinational businesses like Kodak, Nokia, Motion Blackberry, and Motorola, the managements ignored the shift in technology and failed to be decisive in their decision making particularly on innovations until it was too late despite the vantage position.Though Nigeria has a tough operating environment and harsh economic factors, however many of the small businesses and start-ups in the real estate, retail, manufacturing, corner shops, and service sectors among others have lost their relevancies due to poor or lack of prompt decision-making. For instance, just on Ogudu road via Ojota in Lagos State businesses that were once the toast of teeming residences and customers such as Cherries superstore, Terminal 3 restaurant, CCD stores, and The Mr. Biggs eatery Ogudu branch have all now remained permanently closed, failed, sold off or shut down to what seems to be poor decision making from the management. This is the fate of so many of the medium-small scale businesses in Lagos State and indeed Nigeria, they disappear after few years of operations and never grow to become intergenerational businesses.One of the worst things to do in business is to ignore customers' preferences, revolutionary innovations and also fail to adapt to changes within the business environment as quickly as possible. The high business mortality rate in Nigeria is mainly due to these reasons. Entrepreneurs and operators try to protect what they already have going for them, instead of having a decision-making process that can always suggest innovation and ways of doing things better to meet and surpass customers’ expectations.Many businesses still follow this rigid path, particularly in the manufacturing, services, and retail businesses, lacking the foresight of the advent of online presence, e-commerce, and technological shift occasioned by COVID-19. In my view, businesses need to have a sound decision-making policy that is in tune with the current realities of aggressive social media and internet usage. We have experienced a major cultural shift in customers’ behavior with the COVID-19, businesses need a decision-making process to review their activities from time to time. This will help to adapt to the economic and environmental changes accordingly.Multiple studies have suggested that engaging employees in the decision-making process can impact businesses positively, make them more committed to business success, have stronger connections with the businesses, increase engagements and also help produce higher quality results. Therefore, building a participatory decision-making culture is recommended for businesses particularly small-scale businesses at this time. This strategy will more than likely improve the competitive position and effectiveness of the management, operators, and business owners. Because making decision is a critical component of effective leadership, hence involving employees in the process will help businesses make better decisions. Let the truth be told inexpensive and reasonable businesses built around clothing, housing, potable water, medical care, education, home essentials, shopping and food items will always have economic demands. Thus, in as much as the adequate and proper decision-making process or policy is in place, that should give the needed competitive advantage and make businesses not to ordinarily fail. Good luck! How may you obtain advice or further information on the article? Dr. Timi Olubiyi, an Entrepreneurship & Business Management expert with a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Babcock University Nigeria. A prolific investment coach, seasoned scholar, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) registered capital market operator. He can be reached on the Twitter handle @drtimiolubiyi and via email: email@example.com, for any questions, reactions, and comments.