In a bid to ensure the smooth implementation of the new national policy on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and German Development Agency (GIZ) have engaged operators of small businesses in Lagos to further improve the business environment.
Olawale Fasanya, the director general of SMEDAN said that the objectives of the MSME’s national policy can only be achieved when issues limiting small businesses are resolved by stakeholders.
He said the engagement would also be replicated in other zones to capture the feedback from all entrepreneurs across the country.
“The national policy is important. We measure what we have done and give feedback every three months to the MSME program community,” he said during a stakeholder dialogue on the implementation of the national MSMEs policy in Lagos recently.
“We are to put solutions together for the MSMEs ecosystem that is the reason for the engagement. We go to other zones to take the feedback to improve the mode of operation,” Fasanya said.
“We want to bridge the information gap of MSMEs in the way they do their business and put more officers that will serve as field officers for the state to provide advisory services to small businesses and fill the gaps of the clusters to provide solutions,” he added.
He noted that his organisation has signed a memorandum of understanding with Fate Foundation to kick-start the MSMEs constituted research to increase funding for the ecosystem.
Speaking also during the dialogue meeting, Teju Abisoye, the executive secretary of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) that SMEDAN is a critical stakeholder in the MSMEs landscape responsible for making sure that there is improvement in the country’s ease of doing business.
“When we think about job creation, LSETF has a role to play and that is our core mandate. There has to be synergy between the agency responsible for the development for MSMEs and us, as we support them for job creation,” Abisoye said.
He noted that if the national MSME policy is implemented carefully and tracked for progress regularly, it will be a real game changer for the ecosystem.
Also, Markus Wauschkuhn, head of program, GIZ- SEDIN said that GIZ is collaborating with SMEDAN and LSETF to support small businesses by improving their employment and income situation.
“Employment will not rise in the agricultural sector unless we look into the transformation of new development for MSME from the federal level to the state level,” he said.
“We work with public and private institutions to improve the business environment and enhance the policy for MSME of the state. Today is the first engagement with SMEDAN, LSETF to improve the ecosystem of MSME in the state,” he noted.