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Sunday, January 16, 2022

More SMEs ‘ll reduce unemployment rate — Expert

Francis Akinnodi

A business expert has enjoined Nigeria government to leverage on the economic opportunities provided by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to develop the nation.
Managing Director of Ore Industrial Park (OIP), Dr Femi Akinkuebi told The Hope that the role of SMEs in the development of any nation’s economy cannot be overemphasized.
He noted that the growing economic challenges in the nation which have also led to an increased rate of unemployment can be addressed through the establishment of more SMEs across Nigeria.
According to him, “SMEs are responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors. They create more new jobs than large firms, eradicate poverty, reduce social tension, solve inequality and ensure maximum use of resources.
“SMEs has the ability to reduce unemployment if well encouraged to thrive. SMEs have greatly contributed to Nigerian development in terms of employment, growth and development, diversification of products and marketing of goods and services.
“The governments both at the Federal and state level are now turning SMEs as a means of developing their economy and solving unemployment problems.
Reports show that a great percentage of all registered companies in Nigeria are constituted by small scale industries and they have been in existence for a long time.”
Akinkuebi however, reiterated the commitment of the Ondo State Government to consciously lead in an aggressive move to ensure the creation of more SMEs in the state and Nigeria.
He explained that SMEs outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employ more people in the economy.
“For example, Australian SMEs makeup 98% of all Australian businesses, produce one-third of the total GDP and employ 4.7 million people. Also, in Tunisia, the self-employed workers’ alone account for about 28% of the total non-farm employment and firms with fewer than 100 employees account for about 62% of total employment.”
“The roles played by SMEs in a growing economy cannot be overemphasized and this made the Akeredolu led government to provide a conducive business environment as in Ore Industrial Park for business thrive.
He urged state governments across the federation to leverage on the economic opportunities provided by SMEs to economically advance the nation.
He called on members of the public as well as investors to invest more in SMEs and that the Ore Industrial Park would afford them the much needed incentives to start and thrive.
The Ore Industrial Park was built as a Public Private Partnership [PPP] project, established on a massive 1000 hectares of eco-friendly, economic and industrial zoned land.

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