…as NASS calls on CBN to focus on SMEs’ devt
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As the nation yearns for economic diversification, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Exchange Development, CEED, and the Peoples Republic of China, at the weekend, moved to boost the performance and productivity of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, in the country.
The Executive Director, CEED, Mrs. Uchechukwu Chisom, at the 2019 Nigeria-China Business Exchange Platform, said the essence of the platform was to create opportunities for owners of SMEs to have access to partnerships and synergies that would be beneficial to both businessmen in different business concerns.
Chisom who recalled said the trade volume between Nigeria and China stands at over tens of billions of Dollars, which Nigeria is China’s number one contract market, number two export market, third-largest trading partner and major investment destination in Africa.
She said: “Nigeria-China Business Exchange Platform was established after considering the over 48 years old bilateral relationship between Nigeria businessmen and China business community and with the aim of creating more mutually beneficial business cooperation between the parties that will contribute immensely towards the much-expected growth and resuscitation of the industrial business and economy of Nigeria.
“Nigeria-China Business Exchange Platform is an avenue for Nigeria business community to be enlightened on ease of doing business with Chinese counterpart and high-level discussions on economic and investment cooperation, business to business interaction and harnessing of ideas for the development of Nigeria.”
She also expressed optimism that with the Win-win cooperation between Nigeria and China, the platform affords to lay a solid foundation for the comprehensive development of SMEs.
Meanwhile, an agribusiness firm from China, represented by Percy, said the company is ready to partner and support Nigerian businesses in the agricultural sector, and the firm will welcome positive ideas to boost the food industry in Nigeria.
Also speaking was the Deputy Chairman House Committee on Commerce, Hon Gbende Richard, said it has become imperative for the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to focus more on SMEs’ growth and development for the positive and rapid diversification of the economy.
Richard also charged young people to venture into small and medium scale businesses instead of waiting for white-collar jobs.
According to him in China and India, SMEs contribute over 40 per cent of revenue to the GDP, adding that it has been responsible for the success of SMEs as the major driver of employment, income, and prosperity.
“The success of SMEs in China has positively affected macro-economic planning and development to such an extent that China export-import bank today provides funding for many capital/infrastructural projects around the world especially in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America”, he said.
He disclosed that the National Assembly is currently working hard to come up with legislation that would make the business environment-friendly for wider participation towards industrialization and poverty reduction.
He noted that China becoming the second-largest economy in the world was as a result of the determination of young entrepreneurs who were supported by the government.
In their goodwill messages, the Federal Ministry of Trade and investment and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, welcomed the collaboration between CEED and China for organising the 2019 Nigeria-China Business Exchange Platform to change the narrative in SMEs’ growth and development, and said they will support the growth and development of SMEs in the country according to their mandate as SMEs are the socio-economic hub of economic growth and development.
The programme was attended by owners of SMEs and those who are potential investors in various areas of business.