A report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has indicated that Medium scale enterprises dropped significantly by about 60 per cent, due to economic recession that spanned through 2017.
This was disclosed yesterday in Lagos at the unveiling of the National survey of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) 2017 report.
The latest report also indicated an increase in micro businesses by 12 per cent compared to its previous report on the same sector.
The Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Kale, said that this increase was applaudable and also urged that the federal government continues to increase its focus towards supporting enterprises as a viable way of reducing unemployment in Nigeria.
On recommendations, he said: “There is a need to pay a lot more attention to these micro businesses because they have the largest share of employment, they contribute a huge chunk of gross domestic product, and they probably have the greatest possibilities to create more jobs. So the government needs to pay as much attention if not more, to them and also, it may be difficult to lump 41 million of them together, so we need to create more levels so they can be better targeted. Reduction in registration fees have helped, but we have to also focus on some other challenges they face and create policies to tackle them, and that is exactly what data is for. It helps you know exactly what MSME’s challenges are in different areas, and as a government, we create policies to tackle it.”
On his part, the Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, said: “I think it is a good report. And it has indicated that there is a huge contribution by the MSME’s to the GDP, which has increased from 47 percent now to 49.78 percent. And there is also an increase in exports which was 7.2 percent. Though the increase was negligible, I think it is worthy of mentioning because it has increased to 7.68 percent.”
On challenges MSMEs face, he said finance is still a major factor as he urged for a review on how MSMEs can access loans available to support them.
He said: “You know from the survey, finance has remained the major challenge of the micro-enterprises. Then followed by capacity building, which is more about the capacity of the MSME’s. And I think, as regards to the finance, the government is doing a lot of things to ensure they are addressed. And I think the interventions from the CBN are equally helping to reduce the challenge.”