The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) is urging the Federal Government to allocate 25% of its contracts to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This call comes as SMEs contribute significantly to the country’s GDP (about 50%) and employment (around 60 million people).
SMEDAN’s Director-General, Mr. Charles Odii, emphasized the importance of equipping small businesses to be competitive in winning government contracts. He noted that out of all businesses in Nigeria, a substantial 96% are small businesses, highlighting the need for them to have a fair share in government procurement.
In a recent meeting with young legislators and small business owners, Odii gained insight into their challenges, particularly related to costs and funding. SMEDAN aims to assist small business owners in reducing production costs and structuring their businesses to become eligible for funding.
Additionally, SMEDAN is actively working to ensure that grassroots communities are aware of and benefit from government provisions. They plan to engage with people directly through town hall meetings and utilize social media for widespread dissemination of information.
Legislators at the meeting expressed their support for SMEDAN’s advocacy efforts in growing SMEs. Representative Ishaya Lalu, representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency in Plateau, pledged parliamentary support for SMEDAN’s initiatives and acknowledged the positive impact of appointing young people into strategic positions for the future of Nigeria.