By Crusoe Osagie
The Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Muhammad Nadada Umar, has called on Indonesia to invest in Nigeria’s micro, small and medium enterprises sub-sector, insisting that in spite of all odds, Nigeria remains a safe place and commands enormous potentials for foreign direct investment.
“The returns on investment in Nigeria are mouth-watering and, therefore, irresistible. We also have friendly policies on investment and development of micro, small and medium enterprises. We urge you to join numerous investors from Asia, Europe and America to contest for a portion of the huge Nigerian investment market”, he said.
Umar spoke in Abuja at the weekend signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SMEDAN and the Directorate-General of Small and Medium Industries (SMI) of the Ministry of Industry, Indonesia, on cooperation in development of small and medium enterprises (SME).
He noted that the expectation of Nigeria was that in no distant time, Indonesia would invest in Nigeria’s textile manufacturing sector so as to produce in Nigeria its fabric popularly called ‘Batik’, which is in high demand in Nigeria.
“We also expect to step up our cooperation through sharing of experiences, training, commercial activities and technology transfer among small and medium entrepreneurs of both countries”, said Umar, adding that the MoU between the development agencies of Nigeria and Indonesia offered tremendous business opportunities, especially for Nigerian entrepreneurs.
He, therefore, called on Nigerian entrepreneurs to leverage the enhanced bilateral relations to grow their businesses and the nation’s economy.
The SMEDAN boss also disclosed that Nigeria would need the assistance of Indonesia in the proposed conversion of Industrial Parks to Cluster Parks and in the revamping and development of existing Industrial Development Centres (IDCs) across the country.
Also speaking, the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria, HE Mr. Sudriman Haseng, expressed appreciation and hope that the cooperation would strengthen the economic growth of the two countries. “This is the beginning of a good working relationship between both countries”, he noted.
In her own remarks, the Director-General of SMI of Indonesia, Mrs. Euis Saedah, stressed that the signing of the MoU became necessary because cooperation in SME development would increase the rate of job creation in both countries. She affirmed that the MoU was signed to promote exchange of information, experience and technology.
She called on both countries to produce goods based on the resources available to them. “We have cassava but I know that Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world while Indonesia is second. Why don’t we work together and make something from cassava? It is our prayer that both countries will work together for the development of the SME sector”, she said.
In the brief ceremony witnessed by key stakeholders, Umar signed for Nigeria while Saedah signed for her country.