President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to make the development of Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs sector, a top priority in his government policies for the benefit of Nigerians and economic growth.
Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd., ABUCCI, Mr. Tony Ejikeonye, who made the call over the weekeend in Abuja, noted that SMEs over the years had been identified as the livewire of any economy in the world.
Ejikeonye also called for the development of a well-articulated National Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP and enterprise development programme aimed at ushering in a new era for industrial sector development in the country.
He said that it was important for the current administration to pay more attention to developing the domestic oriented industries in the country.
“The government should continue to provide support to strengthen the SMEs by introducing new measures and rationalising existing efforts to further develop resilient SMEs”, he advised.
He said that in a bid to ensure the growth of SMEs, efforts should be intensified to improve the institutional support system.
The chamber president, who stressed the need for improvement of institutional system support to ensure the growth of SMEs in the country, said this would facilitate access to financing through a market driven strategy.
Ejikeonye added that in a bid to development the SMEs sector, efforts should also be made on the promotion of greater usage of information technology.
This, according to him will lead to an increase in the awareness of product branding and protection of intellectual property rights.
“To enable SMEs in rural industries to penetrate world markets, efforts to enhance their competitiveness should be intensified.
“SMEs will have to adopt innovative approaches including benchmarking against international standards to meet the requirements of the increasingly competitive business environment”, he further explained.
While stressing the need for the development of a well-articulated NIRP and enterprise development programme, Ejikeonye said this would usher in a new era for industrial sector development in Nigeria.
He called on the stakeholders in the manufacturing sector to strengthen its competitiveness and capacity.
This, according to him, will position the sector to take advantage of the opportunities and challenges arising from global and regional developments in trade and investment.
He said that encouraging the local production of goods and exports would reposition the manufacturing sector in the country.
“The government should place emphasis on improving intermediate goods to provide a range of economic benefits such as improvements in the balance of payments and foreign reserves. New approaches and initiatives should be developed to promote exports”, he said.

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