SMEDAN seeks partnership with N’Assembly on small businesses

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Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

The Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Dr. Dikko Radda, has called for a partnership with the National Assembly on the development of small businesses in the country.

He noted that micro, small and medium-scale enterprises had the potential to create new jobs for the unemployed members of the population.

Radda made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, on the sideline of the fourth edition of the Made-in-Aba Trade Fair facilitated by the lawmaker representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, which begins on March 6 in the Federal Capital Territory.

The SMEDAN boss noted that MSMEs remained the primary source of new jobs in the economy, adding that they played a critical role as the safety net for a bulk of the population.

He stressed that SMEs had made significant contributions to employment creation, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and export receipts, adding that a total of 37 million MSMEs existed in Nigeria, according to the SMEDAN/National Bureau of Statistics’ survey in 2014.

“These contribute total employment of 59.7 million persons or 84.02 per cent of the Nigerian labour force, 48.5 per cent to the nominal GDP and 7.3 per cent to exports, respectively,” Radda said.

The SMEDAN DG, who said about 99.8 per cent of the businesses in the country were micro in nature and employing less than 10 persons, stated that deliberate efforts must be made to grow enterprises if the country must achieve its national economic aspirations.

Radda, therefore, called on the lawmakers to partner SMEDAN by “adopting such selected cooperatives in their constituencies in a similar mode to the Made-in-Aba Fair, which has obviously proved its worth.”

According to him, MSMEs are globally recognised as the engine of economic growth, adding that they also served a platform for nurturing local entrepreneurial capabilities, technical skills, technological innovativeness and managerial competencies.

The SMEDAN boss pointed out that trade facilitation, like the Made-in-Aba Fair, was critical to achieving growth and competitiveness of enterprises.

Radda called on the Abia State Government to consider the public-private partnership option, to address the recurring infrastructural deficit at both the leather and garment clusters.

Abaribe, in his remarks, said the fair was being facilitated by him in order to boost local production of goods, thereby increasing jobs and wealth for the country.

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