James Emejo in Abuja
The Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Umaru-Radda has urged policy makers to ensure that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have unhindered access to funds already set aside to support their survival and contribution to the economy.
Speaking at a press briefing to commemorate the 2019 MSMEs’ Day celebration, themed:”Big Money for Small Business: Financing the SDGs”, he said access to affordable finance remained a major challenge to the operations and sustainability of MSMEs in the country.
He further requested that SMEDAN be allowed to actively participate in the proper administration of some of the funding interventions schemes for MSMEs.
Represented at the briefing by the Director, Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, Mr. Monday Evans, Umaru-Radda stressed the need for the agency’s participation in the disbursement of funds for proper evaluation and to track repayment.
He said the MSMEs is “our constituency and we know what these SMEs feel. We know their challenges and so on.
“It is not just throwing money at them. If you throw money at them, are they ready to use this money for the purpose it is supposed to be used?”
“We know these SMEs and if we are brought in to make sure that once you give this money we are able to show them exactly how to use this money to improve their business and of course, the problem of making sure this money comes back eventually.
“Because in our normal operations, we do what we call business development service, post training support which means we monitor and follow up these MSMEs to make sure they run their businesses the way it should be run, achieve the target and return back any money as it is a loan.”
Nonetheless, he stated that the objectives of the objective of this year’s celebration was to raise awareness about the role of MSMEs in achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, feed into the global debate on financing for development as well as provide through leadership, recommendations and practical tools that will lead to greater investment in small businesses especially how to bridge gaps in finance, knowledge and skills.