The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has commenced a Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Director-General of the agency, Dikko Radda announced the scheme at the Senator Bassey Albert’s Constituency Hall in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
He said the scheme would address challenges confronting the MSMEs sector by promoting capacity building and post-intervention support services for micro enterprises. This, he said, would enable operators to access finance, market, workspace, technology amongst others.
He said, the pilot phase of the project was being conducted in six states: Katsina (34 Local Government Areas -LGAs), Gombe (11 LGAs), Ebonyi, (13 LGAs), Oyo (33 LGAs), Akwa Ibom (31 LGAs) and Benue with 23 LGAs making a total of 145 LGAs.
According to the SMEDAN boss, the justification for a special entrepreneurship and vocational development intervention for grassroots entrepreneurs cannot be over-emphasised, including moving informal enterprises to the formal sector.
This, he said would industrialise the nation, develop the rural economy, stem youth restiveness and unemployment as well as create the platform for sustainable economic growth and development in the country.
He further noted that the micro enterprises sub sector accounted for a majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also accounted for the highest number of job created in the economy. “The findings in the National MSMEs survey of 2010 and 2013 revealed that micro enterprises represent 99.8 per cent (17,261,753) and 99,80 per cent (36,994,578) of total enterprises respectively.
Also, the total number of persons employed by micro enterprises in 2010 was 15,641,460 representing 90.41 percent of total number of employed persons,” he said. The D-G further disclosed that in 2013, the total number of persons employed by micro enterprises was 57,836,391 which represented 96.88 percent of total number of persons employed.
Radda however, noted that over 90 per cent of the micro enterprises are informal and populated by people at the bottom of the pyramid. This, he added, necessitated the need for the agency to conceptualise a flagship programme known as CGS for micro enterprises in Nigeria.