The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has said that its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) “Market Linkage” initiative was designed to connect MSMEs to larger companies to boost economic growth.
Mr Emeka Offor, Director, Strategic Communications Department, NIPC, said this in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Offor made this known at the stakeholders’ engagement for the Implementation of “Business Linkage Programme” for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Multinational Enterprises (MNES)/Large Local Cooperates (LLCs).
The meeting was organized by NIPC and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to work out strategies for the business linkages.
Offor said that the NIPC has been collaborating with SMEDAN to foster linkages which would enable the MNEs and LLCs to outsource operations which could be conveniently handled by MSMEs thereby opening new opportunities for them.
“It is also designed to encourage and promote producers of industrial raw materials by large companies.
“It will forge linkages that emphasize technology partnerships and to support the upgrading of local MSMEs capacity.
“It is designed to encourage the creation of new backward linkages with local suppliers, as well as deepen and upgrade existing backward linkages with the suppliers,” he added.
The director recalled that in January 2019, after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NIPC and SMEDAN, the Joint Technical Committee was inaugurated and it commenced implementation of the work plan.
Offor explained that NIPC was requested to provide technical support and take the lead in the organization of the stakeholders’ engagement while SMEDAN would facilitate the implementation of the match-making.
According to him, the first phase of the action plan which is the pilot programme is to focus on agro-industries and agro allied machineries, metal and foundry, plastic and rubber, electrical and industrial services and to later spread to other sectors.
He said that the meeting would also provide opportunity to determine possible challenges for low patronage of MSMEs and MNEs/LLCs in order to reach a compromise for match-making.
Mr Monday Ewans, Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, identified lack of access to local, regional and global market as one of the major challenges militating against optimal performance of MSMEs in Nigeria.
Ewans, also Chairman of the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Business Linkage Programme for Match-making MSMEs and MNEs/LLCs said the initiative would facilitate market access.
This, he said, would bridge the gap and enable local content development and participation in various sectors of the economy.
“The initiative is designed such that by creating market access for active MSMEs operating in Nigeria, they will be able to contribute to economic growth through increased output and income.
“It entails identifying and selecting MSMEs and suppliers for profiling to build existing database suppliers, subcontractors and service providers.
“It also involves identifying prospective buyers and original equipment manufacturers that will culminate in compilation of buyer list.”
According to him, profiling and match-making will be conducted in Lagos and Kano states between MSMEs and large enterprises.
Amaka E. Nliam