Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Masari, has explained that the agency plays an important role in the economic development of the nation.
He said that the agency contributes in no small measure in creating jobs, growth support to other sectors of the economy, which contributes significantly to improving the living standards and local capital formation, thereby “encouraging innovation and competitions in developing economies.”
Masari who stated this while delivering a lecture entitled, ‘Leveraging Finance for Sustainable Development of MSMEs in Nigeria’ at a two-day Small Medium Scale, SME and Franchising Conference organised by Informa Life Science Exhibitions, in Lagos, stressed the commitment of the federal government to promote the growth of Micro Small Medium Enterprises, MSMEs in the country.
He said governments at all levels have undertaken initiatives to promote the growth and development of MSMEs, noting that the general perspective is seen through the attainment of broad social economic objectives such as poverty reduction, employment creation and wealth creation.
The DG also noted that MSMEs represent over 90 per cent of private businesses and contributes to more than 60 per cent of employment and the gross domestic product, GDP, in most Africa countries. According to him, MSMEs account for over 90 per cent of total business enterprises in Nigeria and have been noted to provide 85 percent of employment in the country. This is evident in the survey we did with the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in 2013,” he stressed.
Masari, who was represented by the Director of Strategic Partnership and Liaison SMEDAN, Dr. Friday Okpara, further stated that MSMEs have a crucial role to play in stimulating economic development, direct employment and poverty alleviation, therefore they are the engine of growth that transforms both developing and developed economics.
He said, “SMEDAN is strongly committed to the development and growth of MSMEs in the country through building a structure that will enhance sustainable economic development of Nigeria, while the mission of the agency is to facilitate the access of MSMEs, entrepreneurs and investors to resources required for their development. The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was not happy with the way MSMEs sub-sector is been developed.
“Therefore he came out with a broad objective and stated that the only way to ensure that MSMEs are assisted in Nigeria, is that the local, State and the federal government as well as the private sector should know what the organisations such as Bank of Agriculture, BOA; National Agency for Food Drug and Administration Control, NAFDAC; Standard Organisations of Nigeria, SON, are doing.
“Osinbajo also examined what efforts can be made to strengthen the Micro-Finance Institutions in the country, who was affecting the 220 billion naira MSMEs development funds, if they are been channelled to the properly sources or is it been siphoned by politicians.
“As parts of efforts to improve the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria, SMEDAN embarks in sourcing acquisition and disseminating business information. In 2010 and 2013, we worked with the NBS to produce a reliable data that will assist SMEDAN in their decision making and planning processes.
“We also established zonal information and business support centres at the state and local government levels, we have our offices at the 36 states of the federation and the federal Capital Territory (FCT). Recently, the federal government handed over their 23 industrial development centres to SMEDAN to covert these IDCs into an international cluster part that would provide work space for MSMEs, because in Abuja most MSMEs operate in legal structure and if they remain there the FCT Authorities will destroy their properties and drive them away.”
Also speaking at the conference, the Director, Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, Jamie Hill, said the conference would create an opportunity for education and training of MSMEs operators in Nigeria, as part of efforts to improve their way of doing business.

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