The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on the Federal Government and stakeholders in business sectors to synergise efforts in empowering and supporting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for a sustainable future.
This was made known by the President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar in commemorating the 2023 World MSME Day with the theme, “Empowering MSMEs for a Sustainable Future” with a sub-theme, “Building a Stronger Future Together.”
The annual celebration slated for 27th June is geared towards promoting various MSMEs initiatives, encouraging innovation and development of new products and services, promoting regional development, and create market opportunities in the domestic and global markets and also encouraging MSMEs to adopt sustainable practices for National growth and development.
He said the MSME sector is the future of any growing economy adding that despite challenges facing it, the sector has continued to thrive due to the large market that Nigeria provides.
“MSMEs hold the potential to transform economies, foster job creation, and promote equitable economic growth if given adequate support, thus MSMEs Day aims to highlight its pivotal role and explore opportunities for further advancement.”
The President stated the internal problems of SMEs in Nigeria include: multiple taxations, inadequate working capital, stiff competition from larger companies, difficulties in sourcing raw materials, low capacity utilization, lack of management strategies, poor educational background of operators, and huge financial problems while the external ones are; human capital, size, age, and managerial competence.
He further said the MSMEs are faced with so many hurdles that frustrate the ease of doing business referring to the recent merriment fees policy of government charged on hoteliers and event centres which is expected to be paid to the area council before any event could hold. Access to finance is a major issue, especially for businesses that want to expand as they can hardly access government or bank loans due to the set requirements that make it impossible for businesses to access.
According to him, factors such as regulation and policies, facility location, the intensity of competition, the stage of the industry, financial difficulties, and the attitudes of banks towards new business owners are important influential factors in SMEs’ success.
“The Policy Advocacy Centre of the Chamber has over the years organised MSMEs events and as well advocated various policies that strengthen capacities and support MSMEs development and entrepreneurship for women and youth.
Dr Abubakar also called for harmonization of taxes, streamlining of revenue agencies and synergy between the three tiers of government adding that compulsory registration of businesses with any accredited Chamber of Commerce will further ease business access to finance as the Chamber will have vetted the viability of the business before accessing any loan.
Research revealed that Nigeria is home to over 36.9 million businesses. 67% of these businesses are youth-owned. MSMEs contribute over 45% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), with 98.8% of them in the micro cadre. The MSME also accounts for nesrly 90% of the jobs in the country.
As a foremost Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria with over 3000 SME registered members, I urged both the government and business stakeholders to channel all their efforts, finance and resources to support the advancement of the MSMEs in Nigeria.
ACCI, Media/Strategy Officer