The contribution of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dipped by 3.5 per cent last year, the Director-General (DG), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr. Dikko Radda, has said.

The DG noted that MSMEs only accounted for 6.2 per cent of external trade in the same year.

Radda made this known at a roundtable organised by a Civil Society, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI), in collaboration with SMEDAN, yesterday in Abuja.

The event had: “The role of SMEs, government, private sectors and the CSOs in international trading and its societal acceptability”, as its theme.

The SMEDAN chief, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Wale Fasanya, stated that the public and private sectors have roles to play in the development of MSMEs.

He said 20,230 micro enterprises have benefited from the agency’s Conditional Grant Scheme.

The SMEDAN DG said: “According to the 2021 MSME Survey, there are 39 million MSMEs in Nigeria. This is a significant drop from 41 million MSMES reported in the 2017 Survey Report. The major reason for the drop in the number of MSMEs could be traced to COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges MSMEs have in accessing funds to start or grow their enterprise and the problems of globalisation.

“According to the 2021 MSME Survey Report, the top priority areas of support that MSMEs need are power, funding/finance, tax and security.

“This could explain why the total MSMES’ contribution to Gross Domestic Product dipped by 3.5 per cent in 2021 and only accounted for 6.2 per cent of external trade.

“With these in mind, there is an obvious need for all the critical stakeholders to more than ever before put in place mechanisms to ensure that the potential that lie within the MSMEs are fully exploited to create wealth, employment and reduce poverty in Nigeria.”

He promised that SMEDAN will continue to ensure that what needs to be done to develop this very important sub-sector is done.

Executive Director Transparency Advocacy Development Initiative (TADI), Yomi David said the roundtable would boost the roles of MSMEs in national Development.

He called on the Federal Government to upgrade SMEDAN to a commission for maximum performance.

The executive director said: “Hence, we intend to, after this second edition, make a strong appeal and back it up with pragmatic advocacy that SMEDAN should be upgraded to a full-fledged Commission for maximal performance and more effective output in the promotion and support for micro, small and medium enterprises development in Nigeria.”

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