By Elebeke Emmanuel
Centre for Microenterprise Development (CMD), has called for a holistic overhaul of the model of the micro, small and medium enterprises practice (MSME) in the country.
The Centre has also concluded plans to establish a small scale loan scheme for operators in the sector.
Founder and Chairperson of CMD, Mrs. Edna Ishaya, made the call for a new holistic model of MSME practice in the country, saying: “the situation of SMEs in Nigeria is worrisome, given the fact that Nigerian banks had joined in making things difficult for them by not granting them loans because they lack strong financial backup, coupled with the lingering shortage of power supply in the country.
Ishaya, who spoke during a one day conference and exhibition organised by the Centre in collaboration with MSME Nigeria, for stakeholders in the MSME sector with the theme Building Entrepreneurs and Growing Enterprises,’ said that even when there is capital, only few businesses succeed because they lack necessary requirements and capacity to be sustainable.
According to her, besides providing research, consultancy and technical assistance in areas where international best practice and local innovation come together to strengthen capacity of the MSME, plan was underway for the establishment of small scale loan scheme for the investors in the sectors.
According to the Executive Director of CMD, Joe Jackson, the conference was one in a series of other similar programmes organized by the Enterprise in the past to empower and to strengthen the Nigerian MSMEs.
“Our vision is a world where micro, small and medium enterprises have access to all the products and services required to reach their full potentials.”
In her contribution, the Executive Director, Junior Achievement Nigeria, Kunbi Wuraola, said for Nigeria to succeed in the area of MSMEs, it must evolve its own model of growth, and must not emulate the models adopted by the likes of China and other advanced nations, given the peculiarity of Nigeria as an emerging economy.
Ishaya, further condemned the manner at which Nigerians patronize foreign made goods at the detriment of the local brands, even when they meet the international standards. She also used challenged government to come up with enabling laws that would compel Nigerians to change their negative perceptions about the locally made goods. To her, such situation if allowed to continue will slow down the pace of growth of the local manufacturers.
However, Director of Extension service, Lagos State Agricultural Research and Development Authority, Mr. Ogunhinka Oluseyi said the reason SMEs fail in Nigeria is because they refused to start small before growing big.
According to him, there was nothing wrong in the SMEs starting small and then grow big in a business. For him, to grow and promote SMEs in Nigeria, the skills must be inculcated in the youths at the tender age, and should start in the primary schools without necessarily excluding those outside school.
The exhibitors at the events included Association of Aba Tailors from Abia State, Badagry Rice Farmers Association, Ajegunle Shoe Markers Association, and the Ondo State Adire Designers Association.