The Director General and Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, Dr Umaru Dikko Radda has said that the agency has been constrained by dwindling statutory allocations which he said is adversely affecting the capacity of the agency to reach out and impact the MSMEs space in the country.
Dr Radda stated this at the weekend in Kaduna in his address delivered at the strategic management retreat held for senior officers of the agency.
He disclosed that from available statistics, Nigeria and new Zealand SMEs has the highest contribution to employment but stressed that Nigerian SMEs has the lowest contribution to GDP while Brazilian SMEs has the highest contribution to GDP becuase the agency is well funded.
“While SEBRAE, our counterpart in Brazil gets $1.8 billion subvention yearly , SMEDAN allocation in 2014 and 2015 was a paltry $20.1 million. While SBA (our counterpart in USA) oversees 20 million SMES, SMEDAN oversees about 37 million MSMEs. Ironically, SBA’s Subvention in 2016 is $701.3 million which is more than the budget of SMEDAN since inception in 2003.”
He stressed therefore that the retreat was basically among others to provide a platform for the review of the Agency’s operations and strategically chart the way forward.
“The retreat is further aimed at aligning the operations of the Agency to the fundamental goal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government which is revamping the productive and service sectors of the Nigerian economy with a view to diversification from the oil sector and creating mass job opportunities.
“Furthermore, the retreat will discuss among others such issues as amendment of the SMEDAN Act 2003, review of the mission and vision statements, re-orientation of staff, sustainable funding for the MSMEs, diversifying the funding profile of the Agency, effective policy implementation, resuscitating ailing and collapsed small and medium industries and creating an enabling environment for MSMEs.”
Earlier in her speech to declare the retreat opened, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar expressed satisfaction with SMEDAN’s present effort at re-positioning the agency.
She assured that, “now more than ever, the special needs of MSMEs will need to be attended to, to enable new and existing business thrive in this new era, providing job opportunities for over seventy million youths.
“SMEDAN as an agency must work in total synergy with other institutions in both public and private sector to create a good enabling environment for business in general, MSME activities in particular in order to meet its outreach target of reaching out to our MSMEs”.

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