As resources continue to shrink by the day, the Federal Government has opened the door of partnership with stakeholders to provide the needed support for the survival of over 39.6 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) spread across the country.
The move is expected to reposition the nation’s MSMES to become major employers of labour, wealth creators capable of full participation in current global competition.
SMEDAN Director-General, Oluwale Fasanya, disclosed this at an event organised by the agency to mark the United Nation’s (UN) World MSMEs Day in Abuja.
“We are already partnering with several commercial banks such as the Sterling bank, FirstBank, Jaiz Bank as well as the Nigeria Incentive Risk Based Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) on measures that will reduce challenges associated with accessing funding windows critical for business growth. The partnership seeks to deepen the reach of the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency (SMEDAN) matching fund initiative,” he said.
“The United Nations in recognizing the significant role that the MSMES play globally to national socio-economic wellbeing, declared the 27th June each year as the World MSME Day. There is no doubt that the MSME community has helped in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) objectives by being responsible for up to 90 per cent of businesses, 60 to 70 per cent of employments and contributing up to half of the global GDP,” he added.
He said SMEDAN has concluded the process of establishing a micro-finance bank to attend to the peculiar funding needs of the rather endangered nano and micro-entrepreneurs that accounts for over 90 per cent of all the MSMES in Nigeria.
He said the need for better collaboration among key players to ensure the sustainable development of the most critical sector of Nigeria’s economy was a major emphasis in engagement with stakeholders, adding that a more coordinated approach towards the provision of support would not only make the sub-sector more sustainable but also measurable.