The Federal Government has announced it would soon begin a national database to capture all Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance support towards growing small businesses.
The Chairman, Governing Board of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mr. Femi Pedro said this database would enable the federal government allocate resources to grow this segment of the economy which in turn would reduce unemployment.
Speaking at SMEDAN’s review of the national policy on MSMEs in Lagos yesterday Pedro said: “This year, SMEDAN is embarking on a project very important to us and already has the support of the federal Government. We are starting a mass registration of MSMEs in Nigeria. We don’t want to rely on surveys alone.
“We want to have a database of every business so we can focus polices directly on different sectors and different goods in different parts of the country,” he said.
He noted that the database would be available to lenders, funders, people who are ready to provide support, state governments, policy holders and policy makers.
He also said the revival of the national policy on MSMEs guiding document which SMEDAN and stakeholders where reviving would be ready and sent to the presidency for approval by the end of this year or the latest by January.
“We have already started but we are looking for more funding particularly from outside sources not only the federal government and we are putting together the parameters. Hopefully the registration should start by January.”
“We are appointing consultants who would advise us as we do not have the resources to do this alone. So the consultants would drive the process for us and advice how to go about it.”
Mr Pedro said Nigeria is presently being burdened on unemployment and imagine if these 41 million MSMEs are able to employ one person additionally, unemployment would disappear.
“If the government and all the stakeholders collaborate to provide an enabling environment for MSMEs we can actually get the country out of this predicament of unacceptable unemployment.”
SMEDAN’s Director-General, Dr. Dikko Radda, said: “MSMEs are without a doubt the engine of growth because they are a major source of employment generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”
“Towards ensuring that Nigeria is unarguably ranked as one of the top 20 world economies, the government is assiduously working to provide an enabling environment that would allow MSMEs and even large businesses flourish.”
Further reassuring the participants he said: “In furtherance of the efforts, this administration has designed and is implementing a number of policies and programmes to improve the business environment and upscale the capacity of MSMEs to thrive.”