The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, has decried the attitudes of Nigeria MSMEs towards leveraging on export windows due to poor quality of Nigerian products.
Speaking at the knowledge sharing session under the agency’s Enterprise Network Initiative (ENI) programme held in Aba, Abia state yesterday, Dr. Radda who was represented by the Director Policy Partnership and Coordinaton, Dr. Friday Okpara said ECOWAS, Asian, European and American markets as well as other African countries are yearning for Nigeria products. He said the quality of our products should be enhanced and the ease of doing business improved.
Dr. Radda added that Nigeria MSMEs should explore the huge markets with its unique products, and that the standards and specifications should be enhanced and improved. He also said the labeling and packaging should meet international standards, “we should critically overhaul our strategy structure and system to be export ready ‘he said.
He said the Enterprise Network Initiative (ENI) programme is based on a unique organizational model for the Nigeria sector, adding the initiative was apt given the present day realities of the nation’s economy which was in dire need of enhanced capacity to push her global competitiveness and inclusive growth.
Dr. Radda said the Enterprise Network Initiative is a network of inter disciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on global competiveness, adding the network convenes the most relevant and knowledgeable thought leaders from academia, Government, business and the civil society.
He said the mission of the enterprise network was to improve the business climate and promote cross border trade and investment in its geographical region. Dr. Radda said to achieve the mission the initiative members are expected to pursue objectives such as promoting opportunities for regional economic integration, improving business information flow, facilitating access to financing and enhancing the competiveness of individual member enterprises.
The Director General further emphasized that the programme was aimed at unlocking the opportunities in Nigeria’s non oil export sector, adding the only way we can overcome the present state of the economy is through diversification to increase non oil exports and this can be achieved by businesses developing products of exports quality at globally competitive prices.
The SMEDAN boss commended the federal government for the relentless effort in organizing the MSME clinics in almost all states of the federation so as to ensure a friendly business environment and to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria. He said SMEDAN would continue to strive for excellence and strategic growth through forming strong partnership with reputable public and private sector institutions. He said the network has come to stay as a bridge to link the MSMEs to international partners and markets.
Dr. Radda also intimated the participants of the extension of registration of business names by another three months and advised them to take advantage of the opportunity to register their businesses for easy migration from the formal to the informal sector of the economy.
He challenged the MSMEs for the enormous task ahead and called on them to be more committed and dedicated towards meeting global competition through innovation and networking, “this country is in dire need of foreign exchange, we have to enhance our export or we perish”.
Representatives from Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON), Nigeria Shippers Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, (NEPC), NEXIM Bank and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Nigeria Association of Women Entrepreneurs, (NAWE) attended the plenary session of the Enterprises Network Initiative (ENI). The Knowledge sharing session of the Enterprise Network Initiative also took place in Minna, Niger state.