MSMEs employ 59.7million people in Nigeria – SMEDAN

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Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) says Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) employ 59.7 million people in Nigeria.

The Director-General, SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umar Radda, disclosed this on Thursday in Katsina, Northern Nigeria, while marking the 2019 International MSMEs Day.

Represented by Katsina State Co-ordinator of the agency, Mr Shuaibu Muhammad, Radda said the data was obtained in a survey conducted by the agency in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2013.

He said the figure represented 84.02 percent of the labour force in the country.

According to him, MSMEs contribute 48.47 percent to the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and 7.27 percent to exports.

The Director-General said the survey also reveals that the country had about 37 million MSMEs.

He said the theme for this year’s celebration was “Big Money for Small Business: Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The 2019 MSMEs Day is expected to raise awareness on the need for greater investments in micro, small and medium enterprises in developing countries.

“This is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),”  he said.

He said SMEDAN engaged in a wide range of programmes aimed at promoting the development of MSMEs sub-sector in Nigeria.

Some of the programmes include Conditional Grant Scheme for Micro Enterprises and One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) programme.

The programmes were targeted at providing access to finance, workplace equipment, capacity building, working capital, micro insurance, formalization and business development services to MSMEs.

Radda said the agency was emphasizing the need for the establishment of MSMEs Development Bank to address fundamental funding challenges confronting MSMEs in Nigeria.

In his remarks, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Hamza Muhammad-Agawa, said the bank had lots of programmes on MSMEs and agriculture sector.

He said that CBN would continue to fund MSMEs for the country’s socio-economic development.

Also speaking, Mr Lawal Aminu, an expert on enterprises, urged the governments to intensify efforts to support MSMEs in the country.

He said financial innovations like microfinance, mobile money and online banking had assisted many MSMEs to expand their businesses.

Amaka E. Nliam