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NBS, others to address barriers against growth of SMEs

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with other development partners has launched the ‘Small firms diaries research project’ to boost opportunities embedded in the Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria.

Speaking at the project launch in Abuja on Friday, the statistician-general of the federation, Simon Harry said that the project would provide a better understanding of the opportunities and barriers that small firms face in Nigeria.

According to him, the project has been designed to complement other initiatives of the government aimed at promoting growth of small businesses in Nigeria.

“This project is expected to provide unprecedented insight into small firms and their economic decision-making process by providing information about the flows of businesses.

“It is also expected that the outcome of the research will inform product design and marketing of digital financial service to better meet the needs of small business owners, employers and their customers.

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“The project has a direct relevance to economic development and poverty alleviation in Nigeria and as such, NVD is proud to be part of this innovative research,” he said.

The project director, Yemi Adeniran in his remarks, noted that the project has become imperative as MSMEs currently account for a large percentage of employment in the country.

According to him, the outcome of the 12 months programme which will cover three states including Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu, will guide policymakers stakeholders and financial service providers by providing information relevant for their business growth.

“The small firms diaries research is important to guide policy makers by providing information on cash flow, economic decision making, challenges to growth.

“The criteria for choosing participating firms include: poor or nearly poor owners, businesses that are yet to embrace digital financial services, and those with opportunities for growth.”

He further explained that the targeted sectors of interest for the research are firms engaged in light manufacturing, agro-processing, and selected services.

Laura Hildebrand, representative of the Financial Access Initiative said that the objective of the project is to enable stakeholders understand small firms, as well as create platforms for their growth.

She explained that the project covers seven countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia among others.

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