The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) through the its Director-General, Mr Olawale Fasanya, yesterday at the National Conference on MSMEs in Lagos has said about two million micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) closed shop between the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and last year.
He said as a result of this, the number of SMEs decreased from 41.5 million to 39.5 million. Despite challenges, he noted that the 39million MSMEs represent 46.3 per cent of the GDP and 87.9 per cent of total employment in Nigeria.
Fasanya said “The last National MSME Survey conducted by SMEDAN and the National Bureau of Statistics put the total number of MSMEs in Nigeria at over 39 million. The sub-sector is therefore very critical at the global, national and sub-national levels, especially for socio-economic reasons. It is important to point out that there were about two million MSMEs that closed shop between 2017 and 2021 largely due to COVID-19 pandemic, issues that bordered on insecurity and lack of enabling environment for MSMEs to start and grow.”
According to him, MSMEs represents about 90 per cent of businesses and more than 50 per cent of employment worldwide.
He asserts that MSMEs account for more than 50% of employment globally and 90% of all businesses.
The agency, he noted was closely collaborating with the FATE Foundation to carry out a study that touched on the competitiveness of MSMEs.
He claimed that connecting Nigerian MSMEs to the sizable regional markets is another goal of the agency.
The German government announced a partnership with SMEDAN to create policies to support the operations of small enterprises all around the nation through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The relationship, according to Markus Wauschkuhn, Cluster Coordinator for the Sustainable Economic Development Cluster (SEDEC) GIZ, is intended to boost employment and revenue for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses in Nigeria.
According to him, the project will focus on removal of constraints in the business regulatory and institutional environment for ease of business operation.
GIZ ‘s goal of the partnership,he explained, included improving the framework for MSMEs finance through stakeholders dialogue, enhancing business development services to MSMEs among others.