James Emejo in Abuja
The Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, Wednesday said micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) require special entrepreneurship development intervention at the bottom of the pyramid in order to graduate informal enterprises into the formal sector, create employment and provide a platform for sustainable economic growth and development in the country.
Speaking at the flag off of the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro enterprises in Nigeria, which was held in Lagos, he added that such specialised interventions would help industrialise the country, develop the rural economy and stem youth restiveness.
He said the micro enterprises sub-sector remained critical in the Nigerian enterprise development space, accounting for the highest number of jobs created in the economy.
Radda, maintained that over 90 per cent of micro enterprises are informal and populated by people at the bottom of the pyramid, necessitating the need for the agency to conceptualise the flagship CGS for small enterprises in the country.
According to him, the scheme was designed to promote the activities of micro enterprises across the country in the areas of capacity building and the delivery of post-intervention support services such as access to finance (conditional grants), markets, workspace, technology among others.
He said the pilot phase of the project was conducted in 2017 in 145 Local Government Areas including Katsina, Gombe, Ebonyi Oyo, Akwa Ibom and Benue States.
He said considering the socio-economic impacts on the enterprises of the beneficiaries, the agency decided to extend the programme to other states of the federation namely Lagos, Bauchi and Sokoto, subject to availability of project funds.
The SMEDAN boss, however, assured stakeholders that the agency would continue to support MSMEs to ensure that they deliver on employment generation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation.