By Dirisu Yakubu
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs contributed 43.31 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, according to a 2022 survey conducted by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, SMEDAN acting Director General, Olawale Fasanya disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday.
In an address at an event heralding the celebration of the 2022 World MSMEs Day in Abuja, the SMEDAN boss disclosed that there are an estimated 39.65 million micro and small businesses in Nigeria “employing 87.9 per cent of the labour force,” noting that across the world, MSMEs now “provide opportunities to drive employment generation and wealth creation as well as income re-distribution within societies.”
Highlighting the importance of the day, the SMEDAN boss said, “we recognize the strategic importance of the MSME subsector and we remain unyielding in strengthening both existing businesses and start-ups, particularly in agriculture, agro-based , youth and women-led enterprises. Nigeria should be converted from a consuming nation to a producing nation through the activities of this subsector. We should strive to produce what we consume and consume what we produce and this implies that all efforts must be geared towards supporting and encouraging the MSMEs by all stakeholders.
“It is based on the relevance of MSMEs that the United Nations set aside the 27th of June every year to recognize and celebrate the contribution of MSMEs globally. This year’s celebration is of special significance as we are confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.”
Despite the role of MSMEs to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, Fasanya identified a number of challenges affecting their successful operations including weak financial management, aversion to joint ownership, family ties/interference and l poor access to appropriate and affordable workspace among others.
He pledged the commitment of the agency to provide support for existing and emerging MSMEs through such programmes as SMEDAN talent hunt, national survey on MSMEs, conditional grant schemes among others.
The acting DG further said the agency would be leading a road-show on June 27 from its headquarters to the FCT exhibition pavilion and event centre, where stakeholders would have the opportunities to showcase their goods and build network for their businesses.