Abuja – The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says it will publish its first comprehensive database of small businesses in Nigeria this month.
Director-General of the Agency Muhammad Umar gave the hint at a forum on Monday in Abuja.
He said the publication would largely rely on data collated from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
He said lack of a reliable SMEs database had been a major concern to the agency, established since 2003 to promote the development the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector of the economy.
“We discovered that we have no reliable database on SMEs in this country and that gives us a lot of headache and embarrassment.
“When we go outside this country there are some firms that will like to intervene and give assistance to us, but the first question they ask is where is your database on SMEs; how many are small; how many are medium; how many in each sector, but we don’t have it.
“But thank God we have finished a national survey on this in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics and at the moment we are on compilation and these figures will be made known to the public in the next few weeks.’’
One of the several mandates of the agency is to establish linkage between MSMEs and sources of finance, engender appropriate technology and develop technical skills.
The director-general said that one of the several initiatives of the agency to assist small business owners was “helping them to design a bankable business plan’’ even in local languages.
He said the agency assists MSMEs to source funds from two financial institutions in the country, namely: Bank of Industry and National
Economic Reconstruction Fund, because they provide single digit interest rate for SMEs.
Umar, however, did not provide further details on the number of MSMEs that had assessed funds from these financial institutions.
He noted that through a programme known as National SMEs rating, the agency had been able to reduce the bureaucracy associated with application, appraisal and disbursement of funds to beneficiaries. (NAN)