D-8 Trade Partnerships will bring unmatched economic growth to Nigeria, Egypt – SMEDAN DG

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The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has committed to using partnerships within the D-8 to advance MSMEs’ initiatives at the national level and within the D-8 region in order to develop the region’s economic, trade, and commercial integration and links.

An international organization called D8, often known as Developing-8, was created expressly to promote development cooperation among nations including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.

The Director-General, SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, stated that with a proposal for a D-8 centre already submitted, the establishment of the D-8 Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will result to substantial development impacts.

Fasanya has also promised to work with key stakeholders to stir a positive shift in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) development narrative in Nigeria, given its critical but highly endangered status in the economy.

Fasanya made the statement during a discussion with editors and members of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), where he also shared his vision and strategy for ensuring consistent inter-agency cooperation and networking with stakeholders in order to take advantage of opportunities to close gaps between important players in the MSME sector.

Fasanya stressed the significance of the sector to the expansion of the national economy and the numerous difficulties that have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

He claimed that the difficulties faced by MSMEs typically revolve around their lack of access to capital, markets, equipment, information, technical know-how, and workspace.

He described his vision for the sector and stated that he had already begun working with the agency’s personnel and other MSMEs-enabling stakeholders as a continual effort on both a local and global level.

“I will be meeting some key stakeholders in Lagos to enable me to harvest inputs directly from real MSMEs players. I am however aware that they were consulted during the process of reviewing the National Policy but the MSME space is very dynamic requiring regular engagements and feedback.”

Fasanya noted there were programmes and projects in the agency that were carefully designed to address some of the challenges of MSMEs “but it has become necessary to start reviewing such based on the feedback that this ongoing engagements from the MSMEs will give us.”

He said “part of what we hope to achieve during my tenure is to ensure that I have a capable, competent, skilled and healthy workforce. In this regard, I have instructed the appropriate department to put in place specific training to bridge identified gaps among staff.”

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