Uche Usim, Abuja
The Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, on Monday disclosed that Nigeria was yet to benefit substantially from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).
Radda said the benefits and incentives, which AGOA and ETLS present span over 6,400 products, which are in abundance in Nigeria.
In his welcome address at a capacity building programme tagged, “Strengthening of Business Membership Organisations (BMOS)” held in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the DG noted that one of the greatest challenges of the Nigerian economy was the lack of atable foreign exchange inflow, while stressing that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have the potential to generate sizeable foreign exchange through export of Nigerian goods and services.
According to Radda, the capacity building programme was geared towards promoting SMEs in Nigeria, showcasing their potential, exposing them to business/networking opportunities, access to raw materials availability, export market linkages, maintaining standardisation for global competitiveness and deliberating to proffer solutions towards revamping the nation economically.
“If Nigerian SMEs can be developed and equipped to properly reap from the benefits these opportunities present alone, Nigeria will actualise the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP),” he stated. According to him, Nigeria’s MSMEs are capable of generating enough foreign exchange and massive employment for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.
“The ETLS was adopted as a conscious policy to effectively mobilise national capacities for accelerated industrial growth and economic development…