Few weeks ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria awarded Ogun State the best State in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Policy Support. This award was not unexpected, particularly by MSME development practitioners, because the administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun had consistently prioritised the development of MSMSEs.
All over the state, there are thousands of young/middle age men and women entrepreneurs horning their skills, growing their businesses and contributing to the economy of Ogun State. MSMEs are very important to the economy,
According to the World Bank, they represent 90 percent of business, and 50 percent of employment. In the Nigeria context, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics and SMEDAN confirmed that MSMEs contribute 50 percent of the nation GDP and 80 percent of employment. They are engine of growth and consequently they need the attention of all our governments at all levels.
Ogun State is the industrial hub of Nigeria. There is hardly any major industry or middle range manufacturer that is not in Ogun State.
The state is the current investment destination in Nigeria, particularly for manufacturers. There are over 500 large and active companies operating in various manufacturing sub-sectors, including the largest producers of cement and beverages in the country.
Considering that manufacturing is at the heart of industrialization, the State has consistently developed and implemented policies that focus on MSMEs development and the ease of doing business. There is an industrial revolution going on in Ogun State.
The Singapore Industrial revolution was pioneered by the late Lee Kuan Yew who embarked on the construction of Economic Infrastructure, such as power, roads, Industrial Zones and clusters to promote manufacturing. He also ensured that qualified technocrats headed Government departments.
Ogun State’s direction is a classic example of Lee Yew revolution and what good public governance is all about. The policies enunciated in recent years, with the active collaboration of the private sector have promoted sectorial improvement, leading to more and more companies establishing in Ogun State.
MSMEs are important to the best economies round the world, they account the most for employment, innovations and landmark developments. In all industrialized countries, small and medium enterprises are responsible for their level of development and the level of production achieved.
In Asia and the Far East, particularly China, Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, MSMEs are largely responsible for the phenomenal growth of their economies. Where a nation has thriving MSMEs, it will generally have a good economy and social stability.
The MSME Development Programs in Ogun State is largely driven by key performance indicators of growth in size, profitability, efficiency, access to finance, access to market and other valuable metrics.
It is important to measure the number of jobs created by these MSMEs, their impact on the economy, and how many exports they achieved. Many MSMEs in the State are in the Food and Beverage, Textile, Fashion, Beauty/ Personal Care, Agro Processing, Non-Metallic and Mineral Products and ICT sectors.
The strategy focused on transforming many of these MSMEs from informal to the formal sector and creating ease of doing business in the enterprise environment. It is very important to build MSMEs that are sustainable and would be in business for many years to come.
Ogun State focuses on promoting and providing mentorship through its Statewide Business Clinics. The Business Clinics besides helping with building capacity also help in data gathering, easing the process of obtaining regulatory approvals. The clinics drives business growth and promotes cooperation with BMOs to strengthen capacity.
Ogun State with the support of German Corporation for International Development (GIZ) is about to establish a full-fledged Enterprise Development Agency to work with these MSMEs.
The MSMEs will be linked to large companies in the State to build a synergy in production and marketing. Ogun state is a State to watch and learn from. It is not a surprise that SMEDAN use the State for peer study.
The governor of Ogun State is very keen on the growth of enterprises and allocates resources for their development. Apart from developing MSME clusters, the State has just finalised the commencement of an MSME industrial park, modelled along what exist in China and similar industrial parks in India, Singapore and the Western Europe.
It is a signal that the Ogun State is going to be the focus of the nation’s industrialisation for many years to come and the learning centre for other states in Nigeria.
Quietly but with giant strands Ogun State under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun is carrying out an impactful industrial revolution. This will further enhance the state status as the industrial Hub of Nigeria and the preferred destination of investment into Nigeria.
It is therefore not a surprise to industry watchers that Ogun state was selected by the Federal Government as the best State in Nigeria in MSME, policy support.
The work has to continue. The ideal MSME climate projected for Nigeria in the very near future is that which MSMEs contribute a substantial part of the nation’s industrial output, More resources should be allocated to fund and grow Nigeria’s MSMEs.
A credit guarantee system for MSMEs should be initiated and tax incentives through tax reduction and income tax waivers be explored to encourage the growth of more MSMEs. For example the tax incentives can be tied to the number of jobs created and the amount of exports achieved.
Government can also promote more access to market and skills acquisition. We need to advocate and regularly review regulations, rules and policies that favour MSMEs.
There is no alternative for Nigeria but to develop this sector. It is critical to Nigeria’s future. The future is bright for our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the momentum should be sustained throughout the country as being done, wonderfully well by His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State.
Ogunmefun is a former director-general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria