The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has disclosed that over 37 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are offering over 59 million jobs in Nigeria.
SMEDAN deputy director, Dikko Radda, made the disclosure Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, as the agency commenced a five-day entrepreneurial training for 104 young business owners.
Radda, who was represented by Ibrahim Abdumalik, director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, also disclosed that the global recession had adverse effect on many enterprises and the worst affected are the MSMEs.
He stressed that the challenge should serve as a catalyst to spur innovative enterprises that will translate into strong presence in both the domestic and international competitive markets.
In his words: “The MSME is for sure the most viable instrument for diversifying our economy and tapping into the rich but largely dormant resource deposits across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“The stiff competition in the global markets has tended to further stifle the operations and growth of our domestic MSMEs that can rightly be classified as ‘endangered species’.”
Also speaking, the resource person and also a deputy director of SMEDAN, Chibuzo Osuoha, disclosed that the training programme was also ongoing in Ogun and Kaduna.
Osuoha stated that the training was packaged to address the problems identified by SMEDAN leading to the failure of small businesses in order to reduce the mortality rate of small businesses.
“We have taken time to groom young businesses and we noticed some deficiencies and lapses. So, we created a curriculum that would enhance their management skills,” she stated.
She explained that beneficiaries were selected and put through a sensitisation programme before the entrepreneurial training on how to manage small businesses profitably.
She said the 104 beneficiaries who run existing businesses were divided into two groups and would be assisted with grants for operational space for one year.
One of the beneficiaries of the training programme, Chris James, applauded SMEDAN for the capacity building and said the training had opened him to new ideas, which help young businesses thrive.