The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has urged Federal Government to adopt its One Local Government, One Product (OLOP) and Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) models as national emergency programmes.
Dr Umaru Dikko, Director-General of SMEDAN, said that the two programmes if adopted would promote rural industrialisation, address unemployment, poverty and insecurity in the country.
The programmes are targeted at providing finance, workspace, capacity building, working capital equipment, micro insurance, formalisation and business development service to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators.
Dikko said that OLOP, as one of its flagship programme was aimed at utilising local raw materials to provide a cluster formation, machinery needed to escalate businesses and capital to increase level of production.
“When we have clusters of people who have common facilities and do common things, it will help to develop and scale up production, increase package, quantity and quality to compete globally.
This, he said was necessary especially now that Nigeria has signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to encourage standardised products and prevent Nigeria from being a dumping ground for other African nations.
He further said that SMEDAN also introduced the CGS which is aimed at boosting formalisation of MSMEs by providing entrepreneurship training, one year micro insurance and registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The Director-General noted that the scheme is also aimed at assisting the MSMEs in opening a bank account, providing a token of N50,000 to improve business and add one person into the business to increase number of people in employment sector of the economy.
“We have a very large informal sector in Nigeria, the MSMEs constitutes 41 million.
“We must ensure that the informal sector of the micro businesses is formalised because the chances of growth and development for MSMEs operators, who are not formalised is very low.
“So we need to comply with global happenings to boost formalisation,” he said.
According to him, the two programmes are in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure agenda, to create millions of jobs in Nigeria and move millions of people out of poverty.
He advised all the agencies to work towards realisation of the president’s agenda by ensuring that a lot of people are moved out of poverty.