The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says the template for seamless implementation of the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) is underway.
Mr Edet Akpan, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, said this on Thursday in Abuja, at the 2019 “World Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ’’ Day celebration organized by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Akpan said the (NEDEP) template which would further enhance enterprise development in Nigeria, would directly address the critical factor that had inhibited the growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in the country.
He said that the template which was being developed by a technical committee comprising all the implementing agencies would create one million jobs annually.
He added that the ministry’s portal was being established on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis as part of effort to concentrate MSMEs transactions in a single location towards ease of business.
Akpan said that the National Council on MSMEs as an apex body was charged with the mandate of providing guidance for strategies and policies for support of MSMEs in the country.
According to him, the council is committed to reposition the MSMEs sector for better efficiency.
He mentioned some of the achievements of the council as: the review of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) – MSMEs development fund guidelines to enhance access by the MSMEs; establishment of the National Collateral Registry and the development of framework for the accreditation of Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs).
The council had also come up with four key reform areas in addressing the challenges of MSMEs in the country.
“They include improving regulatory environment, easing access to finance, enabling business support services and improving access to market by MSMEs,’’ he said.
In an address, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, said that the agency always undertook public policy advocacy on behalf of the MSMEs to critical resources such as finance, workspace, and technology, among others.
Dikko said that the agency positioned itself as a One Stop Shop for MSMEs development as their growth is directly correlated with growth in the economy and employment generation.
He said that in the course of executing its mandate, the agency had been implementing several programmes in the area of providing access to finance for MSMEs.
He listed some of the programmes as the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro enterprises in Nigeria and the One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) programme.
“These programmes, amongst other things, are targeted at providing access to finance, workspace, capacity building, working capital, equipment, micro insurance, formalization and business development service to MSMEs,” he said.
The SMEDAN boss also urged relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors as well as the international development partners to support the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria in order to achieve economic prosperity.
The UN General Assembly in its 72nd plenary session held on April 6, 2017, declared June 27 yearly as World MSMEs Day.
This is in recognition of the MSMEs in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all, thereby achieving goals of 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2019 event which features exhibition of the products of the MSMEs has its theme as “Big Money for Small Business: Financing the SDGs’’.
Amaka E. Nliam