James Emejo in Abuja
The new national policy on micro- small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) currently being put in place by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) and other stakeholders in the sector is expected to create a minimum of 41 million jobs within the next three years.
The Director General, SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, who stated this, added that the proposed framework would further facilitate an enabling environment for small businesses to function at maximal capacities.
This is as the Special Adviser to the President on MSMEs (Office of the Vice President), Mr. Tola Johnson said the federal government has finalised plans to hold a virtual edition of the MSMEs Awards for 2020, which scheduled for July 16, despite the COVID-19 disruptions.
He stated that the award was meant to support businesses especially MSMEs which had endured the fallouts of this global pandemic.
However, the SMEDAN DG, while delivering an opening remark during a virtual conference on the Final Validation of the Reviewed National Policy on MSMEs, said the multiplier effect a healthy business environment will allow the MSMEs create to boost employment opportunities in the country.
He stressed that the performance and wellbeing of the enterprises are largely dependent on the existence and implementation of a functional national policy on MSMEs.
Radda, explained that issues that border on compliance by small and growing businesses and the need for more innovative funding windows had received significant attention in the revised policy document, adding that the draft policy did not also lose sight of the need to initiate a symbiotic relationship and synergy among all key MDAs with mandates that influence the performance of MSMES.
He noted that the desire to consistently and sustainably realise the agency’s mandate and ensure that MSMEs contribute significantly to the national GDP and economic growth, formed part of the several reasons SMEDAN embarked on the review of the policy, adding that further justification for the review is the fact that the maiden National Policy on MSMEs recommended a review of the policy every four years.
He added that the review had become inevitable to address certain interventions, initiatives and socio-economic issues both at the national and global space with implications on the operations of the MSMEs and large enterprises.
Nonetheless, the presidential aide on MSMEs, who addressed journalists during a web conference over the weekend, said the awards initiative followed the government’s realisation that lots of small enterprises across the country “play by the book” in the conduct of their businesses- and the need to reward them.
Noting that all registered SMEs are eligible to participate in the selection process, he said portal for the nomination of MSMEs for the award will be opened on June 1 (today) for a period of one month.
Johnson added that the federal government will further inaugurate a 200,000 capacity yam storage facility for MSMEs in Zaki Biam, Benue State as part of measures to support MSMEs in the state.
He noted that the MSMEs Shared Facility Scheme of the federal government is one of the innovations from the National MSMEs Clinics with the vision to provide necessary infrastructure and support facilities in production clusters across the country for MSMEs, adding so far, the federal government had completed two pilot schemes of the facility in both Oyo and Bauchi States.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are expected to address participants via videoconferencing during the awards ceremony while prizes will be sent to award recipients in their respective locations.