By Adekola Afolabi
The need for stakeholders in the Micro Small Medium Enterprise Sector to collaborate and develop the sector to create jobs and ensure sustainable economic growth in the country has again been stressed.
The Ondo state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, Otunba Timehin Adelegbe while speaking at a one-day Business Linkages Summit 2018 organised by Green- Shield Integrated Technologies Nigeria Limited (GSI-Tech) in Akure, the Ondo state capital, described the development of SMEs as the only sure reliable means of sustaining a stable growing economy in Nigeria.
The summit which was organised in collaboration with PIND Foundation and Ondo State Ministry of Commerce and Industry has, “Driving Sustainable SMEs Growth and Private Sector Development in Ondo State through Business Linkages”, as its theme.
Adelegbe who was represented by the Director, Small Scale Businesses in the ministry, Mr. Pelemo Ilesanmi, particularly lauded the GSI-Tech for organising such a symposium which, he noted, would improve SMEs not only in the state but also in the country at large.
He explained that Ondo State government has been taking a lot of collaborative steps including ODSG-BOI MSME Development, collaboration with SMEDAN for various training for SMEs, OSMA credit window, Agric Development FADAMA Grant (Federal State) and the proposed FCMB SME loan.
The Commissioner added that all the collaborative efforts are to ensure that SMEs are open to various credit windows and grants, as the case may be, for expected sustainable growth aimed at alleviating poverty and creating employment opportunities.
Earlier, the organiser of the summit and Managing Director, Green-Shield Integrated Technologies Nigeria Limited (GSI-Tech), Mr. Akinpelu Mobolaji, said the forum which brough together business actors in Micro, Small Medium Enterprise Sector, was designed to provide solutions to various challenges facing SMEs owners as it would provide opportunities for them to meet with business actors who would make their business to succeed.
According to him, private MSMEs account for more than 90% of all firms in Ondo state which constituted a major source of employment and poverty reduction.
This, he noted, necessitated the Chevron funded Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger-Delta (PIND Foundation) to train and empower organisations like GSI-Tech to play a key role as a Business Development Services (BDS) provider which can facilitate right business links in the industry.
He expressed optimism that the forum provide solutions to various challenges facing business owners as it would provide opportunities for them to meet with business actors who would make their business to succeed.
The MD of the GSI-Tech disclosed that the aims of the one-day seminar are to provide an avenue for networking and establish relationships between financial institutions present and state-based micro, small and medium enterprises; and create sustainable value-chain among the key players in the industry.
Other aims meant to be achieved include developing capacity building programmes that include supply chain and cluster initiatives as well as partnership agreements and sealing of business deals among the concerned stakeholders.
The forum had in attendance, representatives of CBN, BOI, BOA, ICT giants, business owners with papers presentation on “CBN role in driving sustainable SMEs growth and private sector development”, “BOI -Supporting the industrial sector of the economy in Ondo state”, “BOA efforts towards sustainable SMEs growth in Ondo state”, among others. There was also questions and answers session.
One of the participants, Mrs. Oluwatomi Olatoye, described the forum as a welcome development, saying it will boost economic growth and development in the state.