By Victoria Ojeme
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has launched a nationwide mass registration programme that is designed to provide tailored and critical hand-holding services to the informal operators (medium,small and micro enterprises) in Nigeria.
The programme is expected to facilitate the development of a comprehensive database for MSMEs in the country and ensure their growth, sustainability and diversification.
Director-general, SMEDAN, Dr Umar Dikko Radda,who spoke at the launch, explained that it was expected to facilitate the sourcing, developing, warehousing and managing of a comprehensive and verifiable database of MSMEs with a view to providing wholesome solution to a formalised MSME subsector of the Nigerian economy.
He said that MSMEs that are registered on SMEDAN official website portal – www.smedanregister.ng, would be allowed by the agency to gain access to funding support, empowerment, training and other facilities provided by federal government agencies as well as other lending and support institutions at the federal, state and local government levels.
Radda said that successfully registered MSMEs would be issued a Digital MSME Certificate, as well as a SMEDAN Unique Identification Number (SUIN).
According to him, the programme holds other benefits for MSMEs that include creating higher export potentials, facilitating free matchmaking and marketing through SMEDAN’s E-Cloud platforms.
While further stressing that MSMEs would gain subsidised access to specialised advisory and Business Development Support (BDS) services, Radda said in addition, they would be exposed to free mentorship services, and would be allowed to participate automatically in government procurement processes; ensuring tax holidays and other incentives.
Expressing optimism that the registration scheme would also create millions of jobs across the entire country, the DG explained that the justification for a database of grassroots entrepreneurs cannot be over-emphasized, including moving informal enterprises to the formal sector.
According to him, it would industrialise the nation, develop the rural economy, stem youth restiveness and unemployment, as well as create the platform for sustainable economic growth and development in the country.
The on-going registration exercise targets the integration of over 40 million micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) across the entire country and the information provided would be accessible to donor agencies and multilateral organisations that wish to provide developmental support for MSMEs across the country.