By Akinnodi Francis
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) have said the agency would continue to support the birth of new enterprises and the scaling up of existing ones.
Ondo State coordinator, SMEDAN, Biodun Ayedun made this known at an event to mark the 2022 World MSMEs Day in Akure.
He said the agency in the state would continue to work with stakeholders in the MSME ecosystem “towards achieving the MSMEs sub-sector of our dream.”
The event had as its theme, “Resilience and Rebuilding: MSMEs for Sustainable Development at the Forefront of Building Back Better and Stronger from the Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis and conflicts”.
According to him, “It is important to emphasise that MSMEs require the support of all stakeholders more than ever before as they manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemics, conflicts and the climate crisis.
“I want to urge all stakeholders in the public and private sectors and the international development partners to wholeheartedly support the growth, development and sustainability of MSMEs in Ondo state and Nigeria as a whole.
“This is critical toward achieving our desired goal of economic prosperity for all by way of job creation, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and food security.”
He commended the appointment of the new director general of the agency, Mr Olawale Fasanya who replaces Dr Dikko Radda who served the agency for six years.
While assuring of the agency’s willingness to explore available economic opportunities, Ayedun urged every sector of the economy to reinvent themselves and be positioned to contribute to economic growth and development in the state.
He said SMEDAN under the new leadership of Olawale Fasanya was focusing on strengthening MSMEs supply chain to power self-reliant MSMEs, policy, technology, leadership and skills needed to drive the ecosystem.
“This would develop new capabilities, knowledge and structures to align with the new realities within the world new economic system. It is a known fact that MSMEs are the backbone of every economy across the world.
“They also accounted for more than 90 per cent of businesses and 60 per cent to 70 per cent of employment worldwide.
“Thus, the MSME sub-sector play very pivotal role in stimulating economic growth, supporting inclusive growth, creating decent jobs and a key vehicle for poverty reduction and improving livelihoods.”
He, however, blamed the shrink on the total number of MSMEs and their contributions to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and export on insecurity and COVID-19 pandemic.
He urged MSMEs to become more resilient to future shocks.
According to him, deliberate efforts and stimulus packages must be targeted at those most heavily affected by disruptions to global supply chains, rising inflation and the continuing devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.