Some challenges facing Small, Medium Enterprises, SMEs, leading to their underperformance in the country, have been identified as including, poor social infrastructure like roads, electricity; insecurity and high mortality rate.
Other identified constraints are, inadequate funds, multiple taxation and poor accessibility to both local and international markets.
This is as the sector is said to be contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Ikeja, Lagos, the group said it was poised to change the narratives through the forthcoming Trade Fair it would organise in collaboration with the Lagos State government and the support of notable organisations in the country.
Mr. Peter Popola, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, National Association of Small Scale Industrialists, NASSI , organisers of the fair, which is in its 6th edition, said the fair would witness activities like exhibitions, training, symposium, among other programmes.
He said, the fair, with the theme: ‘The indispensable role of MSMEs in the quest for Nigeria’s industrialisation’, would draw industrialists, youths, women, among others.
Popoola, said the three-day programme, holding between May 9-13, at the Digital Bridge Institute( NITEL Training School, Ilupeju area of Lagos State, described NASSI as aiming at promoting small-scale businesses, industrial self-reliance, hospitality and other services, and enhancing capacity building among its members.
He said, the actor is a major contributor to the economy, especially through job creation, provision of essential goods/services; and called for government’s support to move the sector forward.
Popola said: “I can confidently tell you that SMEs contribute not les than 48 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, while 96 per cent of businessrs in Nigeria are run by SMEs.”
The Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Lagos State, who was represnted by Mrs. Adesina Helen Titilayo, said the state government appreciated SMEs and was ready to support them.
She added that it was for that reason the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently harmonised taxes in the state to relief businesses of double taxation.
Other important dignataries at the event, included the Chairman, NASSI, Lagos, Mrs Getrude Akhimien, reprentativesbof dupportborganisations like Bank of Industry, SMELDA,N and GIZ GOKA.