• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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NITDA, SMEDAN partner to build database for SME interventions

NITDA, SMEDAN partner to build database for SME interventions

The National Information and Technology Development (NITDA) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to build a database for SME intervention programmes.

The move is geared towards equipping the 40 million SMEs in Nigeria with digital skills to enhance their productivity and prosperity for the nation’s economy.

Speaking at the MoU signing at SMEDAN headquarters in Abuja, Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA, described SMEs as the engine room of the economy.

He said the proposed collaboration between the two agencies was timely and critical if the 40 million SMEs in Nigeria must be scaled to reach their full potential and operate profitably in the local and global markets.

‘‘President Tinubu has mandated our mainstream to accelerate diversification of the Nigerian economy, by enhancing productivity in critical sectors through technological innovation. For me, if we want to create prosperity for our country, we should start digitising SMEs,” he said.

‘‘We can partner together to create a database of all SMEs in Nigeria. When you have a database, you can easily decide incentives for them,” he noted.

“We should know what they want, as we can use that platform to foster digital literacy because you can use technology as SMEs to expand your market reach. If we can do this, it can change the SME landscape in Nigeria,’’ he added.

According to him, the database can help SME operators to be part of the digital economy, noting that the target for his organisation is for every Nigerian to be part of this digital economy.

‘‘Technology, apart from helping them to reach the local market and as well take their products and services to the global market, also can help them to come up with new business value propositions because IT on itself is a catalyst that catalyses every sector and disrupts the way we do business.

‘‘We believe with technology, we can help all SMEs to scale up and increase their productivity and create sustainable prosperity for our country,’’ he added.

Speaking also, Charles Odii, director general of SMEDAN, said, ‘‘We are collaborating with anyone that is aligning with the President’s agenda for job creation, and digitising the Nigerian economy.”

‘’Imagine if the 40m SMES in Nigeria are equipped with digital skills, and they employ at least five persons? the result will be amazing.”

He urged small business operators to leverage social media in growing their sales and scaling their businesses. “That is why today, we want to leverage technology to formalise our SMEs and start tailoring innovative solutions to solving their problems.”

‘‘We feel the best partner to do this is NITDA. Even our agric sector is powered by NITDA, so much so that they have an incubation program focused on the agric sector. What we want to do is to leverage technology to upscale.”