Charles Odii, Director General/CEO of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has revealed that the subsector is making a significant impact on the nation’s economy. With a contribution of 46.31 percent to the national GDP and 6.21 percent to exports, the potential of small and medium enterprises is undeniable. The 2021 National Nano, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (nMaSMEs) survey further shows that there are a staggering 39.6 million nMaSMEs, serving as employers to 62.5 million individuals. This thriving sector plays a major role in providing employment opportunities, accounting for a remarkable 80 percent of the workforce.
Gombe State has recently initiated a 3-day financial employment training program for 50 rural enterprises with the aim of cultivating and expanding small-scale businesses. This collaborative effort between SMEDAN and the Gombe State government aims to provide opportunities for the development and growth of these enterprises. In his remark during the opening ceremony of the training program in Gombe, Charles Odii, emphasized the objective of the program, which aims to deliver a comprehensive range of business development services to rural entrepreneurs.
Vital involvement of nMaSMEs impacts economic advancement.
Prof. Adeyinka Fusha, the Ag. Director of Partnership and Coordination, spoke on behalf of Odii, emphasizing that the training program was specifically designed to uplift rural entrepreneurs who find themselves at the base of the social hierarchy. Its objective was to provide necessary support for business owners in terms of fostering competitiveness, generating employment opportunities, and ensuring financial inclusion. He asserts that the crucial involvement of the sub-category, nMaSMEs, has made a significant impact on the progress of numerous nations globally in terms of economic advancement.
The sub-sector dominates the business landscape in Nigeria and holds the record for generating the most employment opportunities within the Nigerian economy. Additionally, the Director-General stated that the training encompasses three key elements which include awareness-raising, skill development, and financial support. Governor of Gombe State, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya remarked on the training timeliness, taking into account the prevailing economic constraints experienced nationwide. This initiative would effectively bolster both the state and national economy, he added.
Govt is dedicated to collaborate with SMEDAN for more prospects.
Represented by Alhaji Abdulkadir Adamu, the Permanent Secretary of the General Services department, office of the SSG, the governor expressed gratitude towards SMEDAN and stressed the government’s dedication to collaborating with the organisation to promote further prospects for rural enterprises. Also, he mentioned that the state government had successfully arranged an investment summit that enticed numerous investors to the region. This achievement could be attributed to the state’s business-friendly atmosphere. Alhaji Nasiru Mohammed, Commissioner of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, expressed that the training will equip rural enterprises with essential business techniques, empowering them through knowledge and skills acquisition.
In addition, he stated that Governor Inuwa Yahaya had provided support to more than 2,000 Small and Medium Enterprises within the state. The governor has also set up a sprawling 1,000-hectare Industrial Park with a focus on export processing to bolster economic growth. This initiative serves as a catalyst for both local and foreign investors, providing them with a conducive platform to foster investment opportunities. He praised SMEDAN’s efforts in coordinating the training session, while also urging the attendees to remain focused and acquire new strategies that can enhance their entrepreneurial ventures.
96% of all business establishments are constituted by SMEs.
Moreover, SMEs play a crucial role in promoting economic growth by harnessing their immense capacity for creating jobs, advancing local technology, fostering economic variety, nurturing home-grown entrepreneurship, and accumulating wealth. Besides significantly contributing to Nigeria’s GDP at an impressive rate of 46.31%, SMEs form a whopping 96.9% of all business establishments and account for 87.9% of the country’s workforce. SMEs are actively contributing to production output, exports, and innovation, thereby serving as a crucial backbone in driving the prosperity of all economies.