Over 37 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are offering over 59 million jobs in Nigeria. This is according to Ibrahim Abdulmalik, the Deputy Director in the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Mr. Abdulmalik spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria recently on the sideline of a capacity building workshop for young business owners organised by SMEDAN in Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
He said the workshop was organized in a bid to reduce the growing number of SMEs who close down due to various reasons. Mr. Abdulmalik attended the event on behalf of Director-General of SMEDAN, Diko Radda
“MSME is for sure the most viable instrument for diversifying our economy and tapping into the rich but largely dormant resource deposits across the length and breadth of Nigeria. The stiff competition in the global markets has tended to further stifle the operations and growth of our MSMEs that can rightly be classified as ‘endangered species”.
He noted that global recession had adverse negative impacts on so many enterprises and he mentioned that MSMEs were the worst affected further adding, “but that the challenges posed by the recession should serve as a catalyst for innovative enterprises.”
He said the initiative is purposely to reinforce SMEDAN’s commitment towards ensuring there is ease operating environment for MSMEs.
Another Deputy Director at SMEDAN, Chibuzo Osuoha, said the training was intended to solve the problems identified by SMEDAN as the cause of failure for small businesses.“We have taken time to groom young businesses and we noticed some deficiencies and lapses, so, we created a curriculum that would enhance their management skills,” she said.
She further revealed that 104 beneficiaries who ran existing businesses were divided into groups and would be given grants for an operational space of one year.
SMEs constitute about 90 per cent of all the businesses in Nigeria, creating more than 80 per cent of employment in the region. And for them to flourish they need a lot of funding so that they are sustained even in seasons where the business is not doing well.
SMEs have been playing a key role by supporting community projects and financing charity organisations in Nigeria. No matter how small a business is whether it’s a small barber shop or a second-hand clothes selling business down the street, small and medium-sized businesses drive national economies.
Access to credit remains one of the biggest challenges that hinder SMEs to achieve full potential. By addressing this major challenge, small businesses grow and flourish like is the case in India and China.
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