Lagos — Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria have risen to 17 million, employing over 31 million Nigerians. Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday, Aganga said Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises account for over 80 per cent of the total number of enterprises in Nigeria and employ 75 per cent of the total workforce.
In a statement issued by the minister's Senior Special Adviser on Communication Yemi Kolapo, Aganga said that in the last one year of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, the results of new SMEs policies and schemes in terms of job creation had shown that if given the necessary support, SMEs would provide the foundation for sustainable growth and poverty alleviation in the country." But their contribution to Nigeria's GDP is still relatively low due to major constraints in the operating environment which has limited their abilities to create jobs and perform the vital role of enhancing economic growth and development," he said.
He said that in the next three years, Nigerians should expect more SMEs with enhanced productivity. He said a national database had been developed in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics which was the first step in the effective tackling of the problems of the sector. Aganga said a committee, comprising of experts in the different fields relating to the major bottlenecks in the sector was already being set up to ensure that the country achieved a turnaround before the end of this administration. He said there will be a national SMEs policy that will address the major problems in the sector. Aganga said the Bank of Industry was already executing matching programmes with state governments on SMEs and deepening financing penetration using microfinance banks.
(Culled from the Daily Trust)