As countries across the world commemorates the year 2020 International Day for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), economic stakeholders in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to deploy greater resources towards funding of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their productive capacity in nation’s economic development agenda.
The economic stakeholders who spoke recently on occasion of this year’s United Nations International Day for MSMEs includes the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Association of Nigeria (SMEDAN), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) among others.
The commemoration of event started in Nigeria in 2018 and this year’s edition was with a different approach having as its theme, COVID 19 : The Great Lockdown and its impact on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises”
Dwelling on the crux of the event’s theme, the business groups were united in their view urging the government to as a matter of urgency consider an upward review of the stimulus fund and other intervention packages for SMEs to enable them overcome impact of Covid 19 and functional optimally in the task of growing the national economy.
Speaking on behalf of the business stakeholders, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda specifically criticized the Federal government on the recent N50 billion intervention package for SMEs by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), pointing out that the fund was grossly inadequate to cushion impact of the pandemic on small businesses in the country..
Radda, appearing as guest via an online media interactive program monitored in Lagos noted that the federal government had done creditably well through its various intervention programs adding that CBN should roll out extra N50 billion in addition to the fund earlier provided so as to enable more MSMEs in the country to develop their businesses, overcome impact of the pandemic and help to grow the nation’s economy.
The SMEDAN boss noted that all over the world countries were focusing on SMEs towards reviving their economies, adding that Nigeria had witnessed a recession in 2016 and it was as a result of the efforts of MSMEs that enable the country come out early out of recession.
Highlighting on the various challenges bedeviling the SMEs sector in the country to include among other things, poor accessibility to funds and lack of infrastructural base, he observed that given the necessary support and with targeted palliatives and interventions MSMEs will be able to come out successful post COVID – 19 and help to growing the nation’s economy.
“The MSME international day that United Nations came up with means a lot. To us as business membership organization, where u have a lot of micro small and medium enterprises, it means that it’s a day that the world is rededicating commitment to the promotion and sustainable development of the micro medium and small enterprises and Nigeria is no exception”
“It is very important for people to understand that MSME in each country are the engine room. Nigeria has witnessed recession in 2016 and it was as a result of the efforts of MSMEs in this country that we are able to go out of the recession as quick as possible”