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Poor database key challenge facing MSMEs, says SMEDAN

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Considering the observed poor growth in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) segment of the Nigerian economy, the leadership of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has pointed out the need to create a database for MSMEs.

Chairman of SMEDAN, Mr. Femi Pedro, who made presentations at a meeting of the board of the agency in Abuja, observed that “lack of reliable data and statistics in the formal and informal MSMEs form part of the banes of the sector”.

According to him, “A reliable database will make it easier for SMEDAN to coordinate the activities MSMEs in line with global best practices, and enable the sub-sector to attract more funding”.

He noted that “MSMEs are the drivers of socio-economic development in the country, hence the need to properly monitor and regulate their activities to ensure better efficiency”.

“When we train MSMEs, we need to give them a unique identification number that will enable SMEDAN to track their activities and collect up-to-date information. “According to a SMEDAN/NBS survey, there are over 37 million MSMEs in the country and they are known to have contributed well over 59 million jobs, representing over 84 per cent of the total labour force. The sub-sector’s contribution to GDP in nominal terms is said to be 48.47 per cent, contributing 7.27 per cent to export.”

While stressing that the MSMEs sub-sector is fraught with challenges and pledged that the board would work with the management of SMEDAN to tackle the identified challenges, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, revealed that “Some of the major challenges facing the organisation were weak structure and poor funding”.

“While SMEDAN was deliberately established to midwife the sustainable and efficient structure, poor funding of this critical sub-sector, as an institution, is beset with several challenges which have impacted service delivery,” he said.

Radda was quick to disclose that “In order to reposition the agency towards realising its objectives, a review of strategies, systems and processes to reveal weaknesses to be fixed is required”.

This according to him will entail starting and building a reliable database for all small and micro businesses in all the states of the federation.

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