In an effort to ensure effective policy and actions on the Nigeria’s micro, small and medium enterprises, MSMEs, sector the Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, has commenced nationwide registration of operators in the sector.
Hitherto, many analysts have faulted the data base of the sector which was developed over 10 years ago.
The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Radda said the ongoing mass registration, currently at the pilot phase, would benefits MSMEs by promoting capacity building and post-intervention support services for micro enterprises. This he said would enable the registered MSMEs in the database to subsequently access finance, market, workspace, business, insurance, technology amongst others.
The Chairman of SMEDAN, Otunba Femi Pedro believes the registration scheme will also create millions of jobs across the entire country.
According to Pedro, the justification for a database of grassroots entrepreneurs cannot be over-emphasised, including moving informal enterprises to the formal sector. This, he said would industrialise the nation, develop the rural economy, stem youth restiveness and unemployment as well as create the platform for sustainable economic growth and development in the country.
The ongoing exercise which is being handled by Michael Jacobs Ltd a reputable international mass registration company is targeting the integration of over 40 million micro, small and medium scale enterprises across the entire county into the database.
Over 37.1 million micro and SMEs in the country still contribute 47.8 per cent to GDP but only 7.2 per cent to overall exports, according to SMEDAN. At the heart of the weakness of the SMEs is lack of electricity that makes our products uncompetitive. While India’s SMEs sector today has access to international markets as its major target, Nigeria’s is still grappling with access to electricity, said SMEDAN’s boss. The European Union Commission emphasises access to finance schemes for the SMEs that constitute 99 per cent of all business in the EU countries.