Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has lauded owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for their resilience and immense contributions to global economy.
Obaseki who extolled operators of MSMEs on the occasion of the celebration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Day, marked on June 27, each year, assured that the state government’s initiatives such as the Edo Production Centre will boost the impact of the MSME sector of the state’s economy.
“MSMEs have become major creators of wealth in the world’s economy. I commend the operators’ resilience and foresight despite the challenges posed by weak infrastructure, poor access to credit and other barriers in some parts of the world.”
The governor noted that several initiatives of his administration, such as the Edo Production Centre, Edo Innovation Hub, Edo Food and Agricultural Cluster, amongst others, were informed by his understanding of the peculiar challenges operators of small businesses face.
“The gains from the Edo Innovation Hub and the Agricultural Cluster in Ehor are already trickling in. Feedbacks from the Edo Production Centre are encouraging and as we spread these centres across the state, we are confident that more people will be lifted out of poverty while the medium businesses will scale up,” he added.
Obaseki explained that MSMEs in the state will be linked to the state government’s big-ticket investments such as the Benin River Port and the Benin Industrial Park to maximise their offerings.
“Our goal is to have vibrant MSMEs that can support the bigger businesses in the ecosystem of businesses that we are creating in Edo State,” he said.
According to United Nations, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are great sources of employment and serve as first responders to societal needs.
The global body said: “Since 2017 the day has been celebrated in recognition of their work in local and global economies.
“These enterprises, which generally employ fewer than 250 persons, are the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries.
“Data provided by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), formal and informal Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) make up over 90 per cent of all firms and account on average for 60-70 per cent of total employment and 50 per cent of GDP.”
The UN explained: “These types of enterprises are responsible for significant employment and income generation opportunities across the world and have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development.
“MSMEs tend to employ a larger share of the vulnerable sectors of the workforce, such as women, youth, people from poorer households and can even be the only source of employment in rural areas. As such, MSMEs as a group are the main income provider for the income distribution at the “base of the pyramid.”