Nigeria joined the rest of the world in marking the World MSME Day with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN spearheading the celebration in Nigeria on 27 June. Several activities were organized to mark the day in all states of the federation including the federal capital city Abuja.
In Abuja the event started with a road show which commenced from the headquarters of SMEDAN on No 35 Port-Harcourt Crescent, Garki 2 to the FCT SDS Pavilion and Event Centre opposite Radio House in the Central Business District. The event climaxed with lectures and exhibitions attended by stakeholders in the MSMEs sector.
In a keynote address at the event, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Mr.Edet Akpan stated that the federal government is developing a template that would address the critical issues inhibiting the growth of small businesses in Nigeria. He said when finally launched, the new template is expected to allow for seamless implementation of the National Enterprise Development Programme, NEDEP.
Mr Akpan further stated that the template would also enhance enterprise development in Nigeria adding that the template which was being developed by a technical committee comprising all the implementing agencies would create one million jobs annually. He added that the ministry’s portal was being established on Public Private Partnership basis as part of effort to concentrate MSMEs transactions in a single location towards ease of business.
According to him, the National Council on MSMEs as an apex body was charged with the mandate of providing guidance for strategies and policies for support of MSMEs in the country. He mentioned some of the achievements of the council as: the review of Central Bank of Nigeria – MSMEs development fund guidelines to enhance access by the MSMEs; establishment of the National Collateral Registry and the development of framework for the accreditation of Business Development Service Providers.
The council had also come up with four key reform areas in addressing the challenges of MSMEs in the country. “They include improving regulatory environment, easing access to finance, enabling business support services and improving access to market by MSMEs,” he said.
In his address, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, represented by Mr. Monday Ewans, Director Enterprises Development and Promotion Department said that the agency always undertook public policy advocacy on behalf of the MSMEs to critical resources such as finance, workspace, and technology, among others.
Radda said that the agency positioned itself as a One Stop Shop for MSMEs development as their growth is directly correlated with growth in the economy and employment generation.
He said that in the course of executing its mandate, the agency had been implementing several programmes in the area of providing access to finance for MSMEs. He listed some of the programmes as the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro enterprises in Nigeria and the One Local Government, One Product programme, (OLOP).
“These programmes, amongst other things, are targeted at providing access to finance, workspace, capacity building, working capital, equipment, micro insurance, formalization and business development service to MSMEs,” he said.
Radda also urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors as well as the international development partners to support the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria in order to achieve economic prosperity.
The UN General Assembly in its 72nd plenary session held on April 6, 2017, declared June 27 yearly as World MSMEs Day. This is in recognition of the MSMEs in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all, thereby achieving goals of 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.