22 April 2021 By Mathew Ayoola
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, for enhanced contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product ,GDP.
The Minister stated this at the 7th EMPRETEC Global Summit, held virtually with the theme “The Role of Entrepreneurship, MSME and Empretec in post COVID-19 Resurgence.”
According to the Minister, the Federal Government had rolled out various interventions to reposition MSMEs for increased and sustained contribution to the national economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we are all aware, the MSME sector is the engine of growth of any economy, contributing to its development, job creation and export, amongst others” She explained
Amb. Mariam Katagum said an MSMEs survey indicated that Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50 percent of the country’s GDP and account for over 80 percent of employment noting that the sector was pivotal to Nigeria’s growth, including reducing poverty and unemployment levels.
“It has, therefore, become more apparent that supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses by creating opportunities for MSMEs to thrive is essential for increasing productivity, creating jobs, and boosting our economy and this is why Government is working with stakeholders across all sectors, to create the enabling environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs to ensure that they grow now and into the future,” the Minister stated.
Amb.Katagum pointed out that the Federal Government was repositioning the MSMEs to compete globally with their counterparts, through effective implementation of policies and programmes.
She explained that the Federal Government, through its Economic Sustainability Committee, had rolled out specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs businesses.
According to her, the programmes include, the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes, which are managed by and Steering Committee in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“The Government of Nigeria had, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, initiated the MSMEs Clinics’ scheme as a strategy, aimed at providing support for the MSMEs in the country.
The Minister further stressed that in order to achieve sustainable growth and development of MSMEs,the Federal Government hade recently approved the revised National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which would provide the framework to resolve the challenges faced by the sector.