The Federal Government has been urged to give greater support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to strengthen industrialization and boost the economy, as well as reduce unemployment and increase productivity.
The Chairman of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Lagos State, Segun Kuti-George, made the appeal at an interactive session with journalists on the association’s upcoming third Lagos Trade Fair.
The Fair with the theme: “Expanding the frontier of MSME through market access”, is scheduled to hold between April 8th and 14th, at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja.
According to Kuti-George, government has put up policies to positively impact MSMEs but need to focus more on execution to ensure sporadic growth.
He said government must do more in the area of market access and funding to enable the industry to develop.
Narrating the challenges facing the association, he said 120 members, in December 2018, went for interview at the central bank for funds, but the money is yet to be released to them.
“When will the fund be released? These businesses need those funds to grow. There are those who want to buy equipment and those who need capital. What they are expecting is the disbursement of the fund.
“Government should please disburse the money. It is not everyone that is asking for N10 million, some are only asking for N500, 000, others N2million. If we give N10 million to 1, 000 entreprises in Nigeria, we have only spent N10 billion. The effect it will have on the industry and economy in general will be very great,” he said.
The Chairman of Organising Committee for the fair, Mrs. Gertrude Akhimien, said the fair is an effort by NASSI to create a conducive environment for SMEs to network and exchange experience.
Akhimien urged entrepreneurs to use the fair to exhibit their products, saying they can use the opportunity to determine the level of demand, but identified some of the challenges facing the sector as lack of capital, poor product quality and lack of access to market.
“Government needs to continue to provide enabling atmosphere for us by enacting policies that favour the sector. Government offices for instance should be made to patronise SMEs and there should be easy access to funds to grow our businesses.
“The Nigeria Export Promotion Council should be mandated to seek export markets abroad for products manufactured by SMEs,” he added.