By Ruth Oketunde/Ikenna Uwadileke
A German Company, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has pledged to partner with Nigeria to support the efforts of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Mr Markus Wauschkuhn, Head of Cluster, Sustainable Economic Development at GIZ said this at the 2022 National Industrial Business Summit (NIBS) organised by the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industralists (NASSI), on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day summit has as theme; “The Future of Small-Scale Industries in Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges”.
Waushkuhn said the collaboration with Nigeria is aimed at improving employment, driving economic inclusion, productivity, competitiveness, growth, resilience and sustainability of small scale Industries.
“We are looking at particularly employment generation and income generation in Nigeria and we have the focus of MSMEs, as we know employment is generated mostly in private sector.
“We look at access to finance for MSMEs, improved business services, strengthen the entrepreneurial and managing skills of MSMEs and we address key barriers inhibiting the growth productivity and growth of these Industries,” he said.
Also speaking, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said the summit was important as it was coming at a time when efforts were being made to move the country from a consuming to a producing economy.
Osinbajo, was represented by Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“It is a known fact that small-scale industries make use of basic raw materials and resources to produce goods and services, thereby adding value.
“These efforts have overtime, contributed massively to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through employment and wealth creation,” he said.
He added that no nation could strive without the deliberate efforts of all stakeholders towards the development of policies and programmes that will enhance the growth of MSMEs.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria will continue to explore possible ways and means to grow the economy, through effective collaboration with critical stakeholders, with a view to granting this critical sector, the desirable support it needs.
“It is on record that government has been making efforts to cushion the effect of the global economic downturn, especially on small businesses by providing palliatives to enable recovery, sustenance and improvement, especially under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
“Some of these interventions include the MSMEs Survival Fund and Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, amongst others,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Solomon Vongfa, National President, NASSI, added that it was important to unlock the bottlenecks that hindered the growth of the small scale Industries in the country.
“The small scale Industry is the catalyst for Industrial development and we also need to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement signed by the federal government.
“So that our country will be a productive nation and not a consuming nation, so that jobs will be created and poverty will be reduced in our country,” he said.
NAN reports that the summit had in attendance stakeholders from private, public, research and training institutions, among others.(NAN)