POTENTIAL TO SIGNIFICANTLY GROW NIGERIA’S ECONOMY is in the micro, small and medium enterprises, MSMEs. It is estimated that about 37million MSMEs are spread across the country and employing 58 million people, according to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN.
UmaruDikko Radda, Director-General, SMEDAN, in June, said MSMEs contributes about N38.8 trillion [48.47%] to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. This was at Stakeholders Inception Workshop for National MSMEs Survey, organised by National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in Abuja.
Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN, inaugurated, March 2015, in Abuja, before the departure of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was established to re-position and revolutionize small businesses in Nigeria. DBD, as articulated, was to ease financial constraints and eliminated obstacles experienced by investors in small businesses.
Some present hindrance to the growth of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, in Nigeria, have been identified as “lack of planning and research”, according to Professor Beloved Onoh, Director, Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Enugu State University of Technology.
Other problems are inconsistent government policies and non-implementation of such policies, inadequate power supply, as well as, inefficient management capacity.Onoh said while Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had done well to promote MSMEs, lack of access to funds was also a major challenge to small business owners.
He was speaking at 2018 Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development Summit, Wednesday, in Abuja. The summit has the theme: “Re-engineering and Empowering the MSMEs for Enhanced Productivity, Competitiveness and Profitability”.
Onoh said government policy on “ease of doing business” in the country is merely good on paper, the reality was different. “The country does not have a valid data to measure process in its activities so we wait for international agencies to do that and this is wrong”.
He said if youths were given the right training with modern technology, they would do better in businesses, including keeping good records of business activities to achieve better results. Empowerment was not just about giving funds but included “increased degrees of autonomy and self-determination” in people, to enable them represent their interests in responsible and self-determined way.
Onoh words: “Youth empowerment is different from youth development.Economic empowerment includes the provision of enabling environment, offering financial assistance, offering free training and easy access to soft loans”.