The Federal Government has created 750,000 jobs for young people to close the unemployment gap in the country.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr. Dasuki Arabi, made this known at the Nigerian News Agency Forum , on Sunday in Abuja.
Arabi, who is also chairman of the Labor Technical Committee on Youth Employment, said the intervention followed an interface with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
“We did some research with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group to look at unemployment in the country and we came out with the policy.
"The summit came up with the idea of the 750,000 jobs that the government has adopted for young people and the unemployed."
Arabi said that the establishment of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was part of the government's effort to provide aid to the unemployed and oppressed before they finally committed.
“We are working with the Central Bank of Nigeria and SMEDAN to provide a lot of support to the unemployed.
“It is also the reason why the government is introducing entrepreneurship at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
“The idea is that young people participate while they are in school before it is time for employment.
"While you're working or studying, you're learning a skill, when you get out, you don't have to rely on the government for employment."
He said that a lot of work is being done to support small and medium-sized businesses to make it easier for citizens to access the support and assistance provided to them.
“The registration of companies for certain groups is almost free and has the support of related organizations.
“These are some of the things that we have done and these are some of the things that the government is doing to combat unemployment.
"And the background to all of this is that the government is doing a lot to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, so that they can provide additional employment space," Arabi said.
On the generation of data for proper planning, the DG said that the private sector had been authorised, registered and licensed to generate data for a fee.
“We see that with the privatization of the PHCN DISCOS have been created, we have vendors selling units to load meters.
"Many things were done for the private sector to prosper, expand and provide support to the Federal Government for the growth of the economy," he added.
Arabi said the goal was for the private sector to provide a large number of job openings.
Small businesses are important for many reasons be it nano, micro, small, or medium-sized enterprises. On one hand, as an important contributor to any economy, and as the lifeblood of many developing and underdeveloped economies. Small businesses can equally provide many essential opportunities that cannot be overlooked because as they scale, they impact innovation, job creation, economic diversification, poverty reduction, wealth creation, and income redistribution within the country. Hence, the core attribute that makes small businesses achieve all these and more is the agility which the founders/owner-managers provide. This makes this form of business nearly inseparable from the founders. This inseparability makes the decision-making process and flexibility within the businesses much faster than that of large corporations. More so coupled with the agile management that exists in the small businesses, adaptation to current realities and changing economic circumstances is much easier in small businesses. Research finds have also shown that the agility that exists in small businesses is the direct involvement of the founders, and the business owners. They can provide quick decisions and also react to changes in the environment easily. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has added to small business challenges around the world. A lot has happened with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it has fueled a lot of economic, livelihood, and business disruptions with more grave consequences on developing countries like Nigeria. Without a doubt, the pandemic has brought about the untimely loss of loved ones, colleagues, associates, neighbours, friends, and prominent Nigerians. While many died as a result of COVID-19 complications, some died due to accidents, age-long sicknesses and others died as a result of economic pressures. The painful truth is that most of them held key roles in the entertainment industry, sports, politics, and in particular many held key roles in businesses around before they succumbed to death drawing from context observation. As it stands and relying on worldometer and the World Health Organization (WHO) figures, as of January 2022, coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, stands at 5,575,367 and 3,116 in Nigeria. The figure seems underreported for Nigeria because the common knowledge is that most deaths go underreported and most times not captured and unrecorded with the necessary authorities. Families do not see reasons to formalize closures by visiting the hospital for proper attestation, getting death certificates, and having the deaths captured. As a reminder, since small businesses and the founders/owner-managers are inseparable, it is easy then to conclude that we may just be losing businesses as part of the huge consequences of the COVID-19 situations. Agreeably the rate at which obituaries come up in the newspapers these days has been so alarming and disturbing, many are unaware that most of these late individuals are business owners and key decision-makers in these businesses. Therefore, what happens to the business when a founder dies or is incapacitated? This usually creates leadership vacuum in the businesses, survival and continuity is highly threatened which may lead to liquidation of the business. In fact, research finds corroborate that many businesses could suffer long-lasting and significant negative impacts if the founders/ owner-managers die untimely. Though no reliable data to substantiate this claim in Nigeria it is evident that a large portion of the population lives on income from small businesses which account for 96 per cent of businesses around and 84 per cent of jobs in the country. Coupled with the current demography of Nigeria, the prevalence of deaths of founding entrepreneurs or owner-managers may negatively impact many of the businesses and worsen the unemployment situation in the country. Though small businesses have different forms of incorporation, from a partnership, to sole proprietorship, or Private Limited Company (Ltd) and Private Unlimited Company, the reality is that founders /owner-managers rarely put such business structures in place. So, upon the owner's death who has a clear vision and goals for the business, a leadership and decision-making vacuum is created almost immediately. A clear recent reference was the November 2021 collapse of a high-rise block of luxury flats under construction in Ikoyi Lagos State. At least 42 people died including the property developer, who also is the MD/CEO and owner-manager of the building. Since the unfortunate incident and the demise of the founder/ MD/CEO of the company, no detailed communiqué or press release has been issued in respect of the building collapse by the company -an incorporated limited company. What we have in the public space is the investigations and evaluation of the state of things by the Lagos State Government. Contrarywise the project's website has been shut down by the company, therefore it is easy to tell that as capital intensive the project is, the company behind it lacks adequate business structure. Most times this is usually the trend with small businesses in the country, the businesses disappear or experience significant operational decline following the death of the founder or key owner-manager, regardless of the form of business incorporation. Chief Moshood Abiola and Chief Henry Fajemirokun’s stories and a host of others are well known. They had investments in critical sectors of the economy with business interests from aviation, agriculture, sports, bakery, real estate, publishing, and communications but after their death, the businesses fizzle out gradually. It starts with business struggles, the overall performance of workers and staff dwindles and family of the founder who most times have no knowledge of the business steps in, which further compounds the misfortune of the businesses. Contrary to what the majority thinks is right, a business owner’s spouse is never a co-owner of the business just by virtue of marriage unless it is expressly stated in the incorporation documents. With the changing economic circumstances of businesses, a non-economic factor such as the deaths of founders, decision-makers, and key entrepreneurs may further impact negatively on the small businesses that are already burdened with challenges. The going concerns of many of these businesses may just be threatened because of the negative impact of the pandemic and any loss of owner-managers. Consequently, with the silently ravaging pandemic and untimely deaths, family businesses and small businesses may just need to adopt strategies to stem the tides. On the part of businesses, attention should be paid to the effective implementation of businesses structure, good governance, business risk analysis, succession planning, mentorship, and transitions because these are the most prevalent factors leading to leadership vacuums. Stakeholder management is equally important customers, employees, vendors, and investors contributions, feedback, and initiatives should be honoured and appreciated for different situations at all times. To reduce the vulnerability of small business closure with the demise of the founders, government, policymakers, and SMEDAN need to intensify their efforts to disseminate information on business continuity, capacity development, technology usage, and other needs for SMEs to continue to make the desired positive impact in the country. So, a lot of support and development of interventions from the government is required for small businesses to go beyond mere survival. On a final note, government interventions can transform small businesses, into vast employers of labour, tax generators, which will contribute to government revenue, and ultimately the growth of the economy, but again right structures have to be in place. Good luck! How may you obtain advice or further information on the article? Dr. Timi Olubiyi, an Entrepreneurship & Business Management expert with a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Babcock University Nigeria. A prolific investment coach, seasoned scholar, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) registered capital market operator. He can be reached on the Twitter handle @drtimiolubiyi and via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, for any questions, reactions, and comments.
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says it has created over 41 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSEMEs), employing at least 59 million Nigerians.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Dikko Radda, said this on Tuesday in Abakiliki during the launch of a five-day programme on National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI).
Radda, represented in the agency, Mr Ewans Monday, said the MSMEs had the potential to trigger off entrepreneural revolution in industry, agriculture and commerce in the country.
According to him, the most recent national MSMEs survey of 2017 revealed that there are 41.5 million MSMEs employing over 59.6 million Nigerians, representing 76.5 per cent of the nation’s labour force.
He said the sector was also contributing 49.8 per cent to norminal Gross Domestic Product and exports, respectively.
The SMEDAN boss said the NBSDI was designed to provide entrepreneurship, vocational skills and empowerment materials to fill the capacity gap among the youths.
‘’The NBSDI enhances youth engagement in productive ventures, there earn income through filling the artisanal gap in the country.
“The initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided well-trained young artisans, leading to reduction in job loses to immigrants from neighbouring counties.
“It seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in dependency poverty as most of the out-of-school youths, who still rely on stipends from parents, are empowered to become self-reliant.
“The programme is being implemented in all the states of the federation and FCT, where 5,365 entrepreneurs will be impacted with entrepreneurship, vocational skills and empowerment materials at the rate of 145 entrepreneurs per state and Abuja.
“We have visited other geopolitical zones in the country.
“Today, the programme is commencing simultaneously in all the states of the South-East, including Ebonyi, where 725 entrepreneurs will be impacted.
“We appreciate the support of the Ebonyi Government to MSMEs and the agency in the state,” Radda said.
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi commended the NBSDI in the state and described it as a welcome development.
Umahi, represented for Commence and Industry, Dr Stephen Odo, urged the participants to be focused and ensure that they made most use of the programme.
Mr Emmanuel Idam, a participant told the News Agency of Nigeria that he was happy to be part of the training and pledged to establish his own business after the exercise.
“Some of the skills in the programme are tiling, shoe making, hair dressing, fashion designing, amongst others.
“I am here to be trained on tiling,” Idam said.
Exhibitors at the 8th edition of Made-in-Aba Trade Fair, on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed excitement over the commencement of the annual fair designed to promote locally made products and skills among artisans.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fair being attended exhibitors from Aba, is sponsored Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, in partnership with Small- and Medium- Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN).
Some of the exhibitors in separate interviews with commended the Federal Government for encouraging locally-made products and Abaribe for promoting and supporting Small- and Medium-Enterprises (SMEs).
They, however, stressed the need for increased publicity, pointing out that it was critical in increasing awareness to attract patronage.
According to Mr Chinatu Nwagbara, Chief Executive Officer of Chinatu Company Limited, dealers on handmade foot wears, increased awareness is vital in ensuring that the exhibitors return home fulfilled at the end of the trade fair on Friday.
Nwagbara further commended the organisers of the event for their choice of Old Parade Ground which he described as a conducive venue.
“This trade fair which started in 2013 through the support of Sen. Abaribe has given us the platform to showcase made-in-Aba products and has helped improve the standard of our products.
“Today our products can compete favourably with the imported ones and we are glad that it is receiving more recognition,’’ Nwagbara said.
While expressing high expectations from the trade fair, Nwagbara said that he hoped to record more sales this year and connect to more businesses.
“The trade fair is not only about the profit but it is focused on the creation of awareness for Aba products which are of high quality and artistically produced in Nigeria,’’ he added.
Mr Chima Nwogu, Director, Chimaustino Industrial company, a local company which produces bags, also commended Sen. Abaribe for sponsoring their journey to Abuja for the fair.
According to Nwogu, “I am happy that I can participate in this year’s trade fair which is organised to let the world know that Aba makes the best of products.
“Come and see for yourself superior products made by Nigerians,’’ he said.
He noted that some of the products made in Aba can outmatch foreign ones.
“That is why Aba is known as the Japan of Africa and the journey to achieving more has started with the trade fair,’’ Nwogu said.
Mrs Comfort Herbert, owner of Commy Fashion and Design outfit, expressed pleasure being a first timer to the event.
“I was quite sceptical about coming to Abuja as an exhibitor but after seeing all the plans and provision on ground, I am glad I did not miss out of this great opportunity to showcase my product and talent,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Miss Ukamaka Enwereji, CEO of Uka Facinators and caps, urged other lawmakers to emulate the concept and described the fair as a platform to promote local industries as well as create job opportunities for the youth.
“The fair draws attention to many capabilities in our society.
“Every exhibitor present is good at what he or she does and if properly equipped can lead to the creation of opportunities that will catapult our economy to the top,” she said.
Enwereji acknowledged the efforts of the organisers so far in catering for their essential needs and ensuring they were comfortable.
A customer, Mr Adegboyega Adediran, said that his visit to the fair was to patronise some of the locally-made products at affordable prices.
recalls that Abaribe in a joint press conference with SMEDAN heralding the commencement of the trade fair, urged Nigerians to patronise locally-made goods, saying that it would have great impacts on local industries.
The lawmaker who represents Abia-South Senatorial District of Abia State, said that the 8th edition of the Made-in Aba trade fair is on from Nov. 8 to Nov. 13 in Abuja.
Abaribe, who is the facilitator of the trade fair, stressed that Made-in-Aba goods are receiving global acceptance due to improved qualities and the need to stimulate increased patronage.
Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe urged Nigerians in Abuja on Monday to patronize locally made products, saying it would have big impacts on local industries.
Mr Abaribe made the call during a joint press conference with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, to announce the start of the 8th Made-in-Aba Trade Fair.
The lawmaker representing Abia-Southern Senate District of Abia, said the 2021 edition of the show is scheduled for November 8-13 in Abuja.
The theme of the event is “Exploiting Business Opportunities Beyond the Disadvantages of Covid-19” - 'MSMEs; the foundation for nation building and inclusive recovery. ''
Mr. Abaribe, who is the host of the show, pointed out that Made-in-Aba products are receiving worldwide acceptance due to their improved qualities, hence the need to stimulate an increased customer base.
According to him, the show will provide a platform for artisans to deepen their market and improve the quality of locally produced products.
Abaribe added that the show would be a celebration of the success in advancing products made in Nigeria.
“Our focus is the finishing, packaging of the products and efforts to improve the quality of products made in Aba and, by extension, products made in Nigeria,” he said.
While commending the federal government for insisting on the need to buy locally made products, Abaribe said the country must turn in on itself to develop its economy.
“Due to the focus on buying locally made products, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the general economic downturn, we have no choice but to look inside.
"It is important to find a way to ensure that we do not spend our scarce foreign currency on importing products that we can manufacture in this country," said the lawmaker.
He urged SMEDAN to continue to involve micro-small and medium-sized enterprises, MSMEs, in order to improve the quality of their products.
“Part of what we have to overcome with Made-in-Aba products is that when we started out, most of the shoes, bags and belts had foreign stamps on them.
“When we asked, they said people prefer to buy products made overseas, but as we promoted, they don't anymore. They now manufacture their products and put their own stamps.
“Today, the artisans; fashion designers, shoemakers and various other manufacturers are not ashamed to label their products made in Aba, as there is no obvious difference between products made in Aba and imported products.
"The quality has improved considerably and for a few years now all my clothes, shoes are made in Aba, including the costume I wear today," said the senator.
He recalled that thanks to SMEDAN, the artisans were able to improve their qualities and were put in touch with buyers from many regions of the country who buy their products at the point of production.
Earlier, the Director General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, said that the program aims to expose the entrepreneurs of Aba's business hub to the development and standardization of their products to meet the national and international markets.
According to Radda, the fair will highlight the challenges and perspectives of MSMEs and raise awareness among target attendees on the strategic advantage of attending the fair.
He noted that SMEDAN would create an accessible exhibition venue in order to deepen market access for participating MSMEs.
“The fair is a major tool for promotion, communication, marketing, networking and a solid platform for the cross-fertilization of ideas.
“This annual event will be implemented in three phases, pre-exhibition, exhibition and post-exhibition,” he said.
Mr. Radda urged Abia's indigenous people to take advantage of government intervention programs to improve their products and services, especially when they have comparative and competitive advantages.
According to him, Aba clusters will have the opportunity to interact with SMEDAN one-on-one, acquire business information, make general inquiries and access free business advice.
“They can also interface with companies and other agencies for surveys and access relevant information specific to their various activities.
“On the supply side, the fair also gives SMEDAN the opportunity to assess the capacities of MSMEs to enable us to design needs-based intervention programs,” Radda said.
While reiterating the agency's commitment to continue supporting MSMEs, Mr. Radda urged members of the National Assembly to emulate Mr. Abaribe by partnering with SMEDAN to adopt a similar program at different levels for their voters.
The “Made in Aba Trade Fair” is a flagship trade promotion activity between the National Assembly and SMEDAN through zone intervention programs.
The Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN) reiterated its commitment to promote programs aimed at accelerating the growth and modernization of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
SMEDAN Director General Dr Dikko Radda said this in a statement issued Friday in Abuja after a week of the Agricultural Enterprise Development Empowerment Program (ADEP) in Katsina.
Radda described MSMEs as engines of socio-economic transformation of any nation, providing opportunities to generate employment and create wealth as well as income redistribution.
“The relevance of the sub-sector is probably best reflected in the emerging facts of the NBS-SMEDAN National MSME Survey, 2017, which reported around 41,543,028 MSMEs in Nigeria, contributing to 49.78 % to national gross domestic product (GDP).
“The sub-sector also employs 76.5 percent of the workforce (or about 59.6 million people) and accounts for 7.64 percent of exports.
Radda underlined that the expectation of SMEDAN was to generate more production from the sub-sector with more attention to the deployment of resources and appropriate management.
“The continuous training of ADEP is one of the instruments available to the Development and Extension Department of Agribusiness (AD&E) of SMEDAN to fulfill the agency's mandate.
“The focus is on capacity building or human capital development, with associated Business Development Services (BDS), to existing participants of existing federal / state agribusiness initiatives as well as youth start-ups.
"This will provide the required mindset, which instills agriculture in the beneficiaries of the program as a business - worthy of pride, dedication and diversification."
"We are part of Mr. President's vision to lift 100 million people out of poverty over the next four years."
“The objectives of this training program include encouraging target beneficiaries to embrace agro-industry development as a viable business option and to strengthen entrepreneurial skills of potential / existing beneficiaries of agricultural development programs. 'agro-industry,' he said.
The CEO noted that the empowerment component of the program aimed to encourage diversification of the economy from crude oil, using agriculture.
He said that, therefore, as part of our engagement here today, 16 agribusiness cooperatives of this intervention in Katsina and Batagarawa will each receive cash grants of around N 288,000 for a total of only N 4,620,000. .
Radda urged grantees to make full use of the knowledge gained during the six days of training and counseling to properly channel cash grants to grow their businesses.
“As expected, it should also help you become role models for other compatriots and your communities.
“As we meet today, similar ADEP trainings are taking place at two centers each in Bauchi, Yobe, Enugu and Ogun states.
In addition, two weeks ago we were in five other states - Kebbi, Borno, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Ondo, making an impact as part of our commitment to fostering business skills of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) ", did he declare.
Radda added that there would be regular visits to the beneficiaries to offer extension services to strengthen their businesses towards maturity and prosperity.
By Emmanuella Anokam
The Nigerian Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEDAN) reports that the administrative costs of microfinance banks (MFB) under its One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) project have been revised upwards to 8% .
Ms Safiya Ballah, Director of Special Tasks Department, SMEDAN, revealed this Thursday in Abuja during her OLOP stakeholder meeting.
OLOP is a flagship program of SMEDAN which promotes the development of at least one product identified by local government area (LGA) in Nigeria, empowering micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
The program which offers 70 percent interest-free loans and 30 percent grants adds value and evolves these identified raw materials into a branded and certified product with expanded market potential (including export).
The service charge rendered by SMEDAN to MFBs under the OLOP program for its services to cooperative banks (beneficiaries) was five percent.
Ballah noted that the eight percent upward revision was part of his reform agenda to make the OLOP program more effective and impactful in the country.
She said that SMEDAN's attention was drawn to the program due to the difficulties faced by beneficiaries in accessing funds and intervention.
She also denounced the inability of most companies to complete the certification of competent authorities such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and the Control and Standards Organization of Nigeria and membership in the OLOP concept.
The Director listed other OLOP reform programs for effective implementation by stakeholders, including promoting membership registration with professional organizations, in order to encourage beneficiaries.
According to her, candidate companies should have proof of a bank transaction (corporate account) while there should be a business plan showing empowerment status and an expansion plan under OLOP which are reviewed. periodically.
Others include techniques for beneficiaries, promoting information technology, exposing beneficiaries to the importance of using ICT to run their businesses in order to attract both local and international sponsorship.
As part of the reform program, she noted that for an effective implementation of OLOP, there should be personalized training of cooperative societies to stimulate competition and annual exhibitions of OLOP products.
Regarding the loan repayment, she noted that it was very important and essential, adding that it introduced an innovation in its loan repayment.
Mr. Levi Anyikwa, Deputy Director, Special Tasks Department, SMEDAN, also urged all stakeholders to ensure that the meeting has valuable information and ideas to enrich the ongoing reform through the OLOP program.
He said the program has undergone many repackaging, especially with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
He said the meeting would ensure that stakeholders in the program operate on the same wavelength when it comes to its implementation. (NOPE)(NAN)
By Muhammad Nur Tijani
The Nigeria Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN) reaffirmed its commitment and support to the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
SMEDAN Managing Director Dikko Radda assured Kano on Friday during the 2021 board / management retreat of the agency.
According to him, MSMEs remain the engine room for critical economic growth and poverty reduction in the world.
Radda said the retreat would provide them with another solemn opportunity to chart a new roadmap towards repositioning the MSME sub-sector in a restructured and more efficient way.
“Since the last retreat held in Lagos in 2019, our roles and functions as Nigeria's leading entrepreneurship development agency have not only become huge, but also more responsive in a vibrant and dramatically changing global economy.
"It is in this regard that we have carefully selected you all to come and deliberate and further strategize on how to reposition the agency towards effective service delivery to the MSME sub-sector of the Nigerian economy," said he explained.
According to Radda, the ongoing MSME Mass Registration Program (MMRP) will provide a real platform for collecting information and data for strategic planning of the program for the growth and development of the sector.
He said the agency will launch the 2021 edition of the Mindshift Entrepreneurship (MEP) program in Kano.
MEP was designed to harness the vibrant energy of Nigerian students and youth and channel it into building productive businesses and running their own businesses.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the theme of the retreat is “Roadmap for Inclusive and Sustainable Development of MSMEs”.
The theme was chosen to meet the requirements prevailing in Nigeria's MSME ecosystem in relation to the mode of operation.
Radda also reaffirmed the commitment of the administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to lift more Nigerians out of poverty.
In a remark, Minister of State for Trade and Investment Maryam Katagum said the recent National Bureau of Statistics survey, as reported on its website, painted a worrying picture of the unemployment rate in the country. country.
“This despite the government's strenuous efforts to implement policies aimed at stimulating growth and creating jobs,” she said.
Represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Babagana Alkali said the best way to stop the above situation was to have a manly MSME sub-sector, perhaps with special emphasis on young people and women.
The minister said that the 2017 survey conducted jointly by the National Bureau of Statistics and SMEDAN found that there are 41 million MSMEs in Nigeria and this figure represents more than 80% of the total number of enterprises and represents 75% of Nigeria's total employment base.
According to her, developing the MSME sub-sector is the surest way to deal with the many very tense unrest and security challenges across the country. (NOPE)(NAN)
Forum of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Business Membership Organisations of Nigeria (BMO) has called on the Federal Government to remain committed to the growth of the MSMEs for economic development.
A delegation of the Forum made the call on Friday during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adebayo in Abuja.
According the Forum, the visit is to brief the minister on its plans and programmes as well as to seek support and areas of possible collaboration towards creating enabling environment for MSMEs operators.
Dr Albert Akinyemi, Chairman Board of Trustees of the Forum, said that MSMEs could create the needed succour as Nigeria looked toward economic recovery from the current economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the Forum seeks to institutionalise the MSME subsector in Nigeria as it is being done in developed economies of the world.
He therefore urged the Federal Government to support and work with the Forum towards harmonising operations of MSMEs for enhanced contribution to GDP.
He said: “MSME subsector is regarded all over the world as the engine of economic growth.
“It is important for both public and private sectors to join hands in evolving enduring solutions to our seemingly intractable MSME economic problems.”
Alhaji Garba Gusau, National President of the Forum, said: “There is need for government to bring all the BMOs together in order for it to contribute more to national economy.
“This is because the subsector is currently fragmented and its operators are not behaving as one big family, and that is why there is need for an umbrella body.
“Section 5 of the SMEDAN MSME Policy recognised that the development of the MSMEs in Nigeria involves a wide spectrum of public and private sector led institutions and organisations.
“Like what we have in Europe and other parts of the world, the Forum is a unifying force for Nigeria MSMEs and aims to brace the trail for the whole of Africa in future,” he said.
Gusau therefore requested that relevant agencies under the ministry should nominate desk officers to represent them at the Forum’s activities.
He also prayed the ministry to support and assist the Forum in relating with relevant parastatals under it on issues concerning the development of MSMEs in Nigeria.
In his response, the Minister commended the Forum, and stated that MSMEs formed a very important constituent of the Federal Government Economic Sustainability Plan.
He therefore pledged support towards working with the Forum in realizing its mandate.
“The Federal Government clearly understands the place of MSMEs development and that is why this ministry is doing everything possible to support them.
“We will do everything possible as a ministry to give you the needed support,” he said.
NAN reports that the Forum of MSMEs BMOs is an umbrella body created for a coordinated engagement with stakeholders on issues facing the growth and development of the MSME subsector.(NAN)(NAN)
The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated the National Steering Committee of National Business Development Services Providers (BDSPs) certification and accreditation framework to ensure professional support to Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs).
Amb. Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja said the certification and accreditation framework would set standard for business development service interventions.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and MAFITA, a UK aid funded intervention in Nigeria had worked assiduously to develop the framework for MSMEs development in Nigeria.
Katagum said that the committee was apt considering lack of access to affordable and credible business development services which had been one of the major challenges militating against MSMEs growth and development in Nigeria.
The minister, while commending SMEDAN and its partners said that the accreditation would standardise curriculum for deployment of relevant business development services for all functional areas of any small business.
“The framework will also help in the formation of a new generation of professionals that would want to make a career out of strengthening the ecosystem.
“Certification will see prospective participants going through training, assessment and portfolio development, for those who have not yet had any transactional history of working with small businesses.
“At the end of the certification programme, successful BDSPs will be in a position amongst other skills to demonstrate technical knowledge relevant to the effective delivery of the business development service provision to MSMEs.
“Successful BDSPs will use effective facilitation skills to support MSMEs in overcoming challenges apply relevant diagnostic tools in assessing the MSMEs business and provide necessary support based on information derived from same,’’ Katagum said.
The minister said the committee would ensure strict compliance with the pre-certification training conditions, adding that two foremost institutions in Nigeria had been selected, certified to train and present candidates for certification and accreditation.
According to her, these institutions, the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), Pan Atlantic University, Lagos and the Entrepreneurship Support Centre (ESC), Kaduna Business School are currently implementing the training programmes across the country.
The ambassador said the committee’s relevance could not be over-emphasised as it was expected to effectively coordinate the certification and accreditation process to ensure that a high level of transparency and credibility on the framework.
Dr Dikko Radda, the Director-General, SMEDAN thanked the committee members for accepting to be part of the national assignment, adding that its aim was to ensure that MSMEs operators were well trained and certified.
He said that the BDSPs had been striving for their services to add value for money hence their services were needed to boost the sector.
Radda appreciated the ministry for its continuous support toward the development of MSMEs entirely.
Mr Waheed Olagunju, former Acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry (BOI) on behalf of the committee thanked the Federal Government for reposing confidence on the members and pledged commitment to achieve its aim.
Olagunju described the members of the committee worthy to carry out such assignment and promised to operate according its terms of reference.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf