Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has said Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) employ about 59.7 million people in Nigeria.
The Director-General, SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umar Radda, disclosed this on Thursday in Katsina while marking the 2019 International MSMEs Day.
Represented by Katsina State Coordinator of the agency, Mr Shuaibu Muhammad, Radda said the data was obtained in a survey conducted by the agency in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2013.
He said the figure represented 84.02 per cent of the labor force in the country.
According to him, MSMEs contribute 48.47 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 7.27 per cent to exports. The SMEDAN boss said the survey also reveals that the country had about 37 million MSMEs.
He said the theme for this year’s celebration was “Big Money for Small Business: Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The 2019 MSMEs Day is expected to raise awareness on the need for greater investments in micro, small and medium enterprises in developing countries. This is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.
He said SMEDAN engaged in a wide range of programmes aimed at promoting the development of MSMEs sub-sector in Nigeria.
The director-general some of the programmes include Conditional Grant Scheme for micro enterprises and One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) programme.
He said the programmes were targeted at providing access to finance, workpace, equipment, capacity building, working capital, micro insurance, formalisation and business development services to MSMEs.
Radda said the agency was emphasising on the need for the establishment of MSMEs Development Bank to address fundamental funding challenges confronting MSMEs in Nigeria.
In his remarks, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Hamza Muhammad-Agawa, said the bank had lots of programmes on MSMEs and agriculture sectors. He said that CBN would continue to fund MSMEs for socio-economic development of the country.
Also speaking, Mr. Lawal Aminu, an expert on enterprises, urged the governments to intensify efforts to support MSMEs in the country. He said financial innovations like microfinance, mobile money and online banking had assisted many MSMEs to expand their businesses.