‘Only 20% SMEs manage to survive in Nigeria’
UNIDO trains the trainers
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO’s) Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO), Nigeria, has called for the formulation of affective strategies to address the inability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to grow in the country. This, it said, is because studies have shown that only 20 per cent of SMEs manage to survive in the country.
The Coordinator, ARCEIT Programme, UNIDO ITPO, Bahrain, Afif Barhoumi, who made the observation at the opening of a four-day training programme, organised by UNIDO ITPO for selected Federal Government agencies in Nigeria, stressed the need for continuous enterprise development and investment promotion to key stakeholders.
“Although everybody in Nigeria desires to become an entrepreneur, only 40 per cent of the dreamers get to start, but no more than 20 per cent survive,” he said, adding that MDAs needed to entrench enterprise development and investments promotion as a key strategy to end the scourge.
“The training will also equip the SMEs with survival and growth skills needed to thrive and take advantage of investment and trade opportunities in local, regional and international business environments,” he noted.
The Head, UNIDO ITPO Nigeria, Mrs. Adebisi Olumodumu, said the capacity building of MDAs is inevitable if the Federal Government would play its role of supporting SMEs to grow.
She further noted that if adequately supported, SMEs in Nigeria would grow into big businesses and possibly conglomerates, which products will compete with world-class products elsewhere in the world.
“Nigeria used to be a mono-economy but when the fortunes of oil waned, government decided to diversify the economy. Agriculture is a very viable source of economic diversification, and we hope that Federal Government agencies will take advantage of the knowledge sharing afforded by this training,” she added.
The Managing Director, Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed, noted that SMEs were the key drivers of success of the agricultural economy even with the private sector.
“Eighty per cent of economic activities are domiciled with the SMEs segment. Sadly, SMEs have very poor business culture and hardly survive the teething challenges associated with new businesses,” he observed.
He argued that SMEs should be supported, saying that it was expected that the collaboration between UNIDO and the selected government agencies would lead to the transfer of cutting edge technical capacities to SMEs in Nigeria.
The Federal Government, in collaboration with UNIDO inaugurated the ITPO in Nigeria in March, 2016. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, who had described the development as timely, explained that the move would accelerate the industrial revolution mantra of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration while supporting the diversification of the Nigerian economy. Commenting on the benefits of the ITPO to the country, the Minister said it would attract beneficial and technologically-based Foreign Direct Investments and Local Direct Investments into Nigeria, adding that the African continent stood to benefit from the office which services would be extended to ECOWAS member states.
“Nigeria has all it takes to drive and sustain the activities of the office at home and abroad,” he said, adding thatNigeria’s large market, natural resources, agricultural endowment and skilled labour would drive and sustain the activities of the ITPO.