The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, has said that a progressive policy framework, long-term growth is capable of sustaining the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MESMEs) in the country. Abubakar also revealed the Federal Government will continue to support financial literacy initiatives including recent efforts to inculcate financial literacy education into syllabuses in the nation’s educational institution at all levels to tackle the issue at the foundation stages.
The Minister said this last week, in a key note address to the FATE Foundation 4th policy dialogue series on, Entrepreneurship, held in Abuja. She said: “The MSMEs is the engine of economic growth of nations and the benefits and multiplier effects of investing in the sector results in positive socio-economic impacts at all levels, they includes job and wealth creation, progressive redistribution of wealth and innovation.”
She said Nigeria is blessed with a strong entrepreneurial culture, and can rightly be referred to as one of Africa’s leader entrepreneurship hubs. “There are 37 million MSMEs as at 2013, following the Small and Medium enterprises development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), and the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) survey. Despite the inherent benefits in this large pool of MSMEs, their viability and growth are continually threatened by a number of factors that have a strong correlation with capacity limitation in general and poor financial literacy in particular.”
She assured FATE Foundation and other stakeholders, of government’s continued collaboration to expand the frontiers of the MSMEs in promoting financial inclusion. Earlier in her opening remarks, the Executive Director, FATE Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi, said over the last 18 years, the Foundation has supported Nigerian Entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale their businesses. She added that one of the key insights into the journey is that financial literacy is a critical knowledge gap faced by the sector in Nigeria.
She said: “To improve our understanding of the financial literacy gaps amongst Nigerian entrepreneurs, FATE Foundation, in association with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Nigeria, asked 6,500 MSMEs about their level of financial literacy. This research also asked those entrepreneurs, who have undertaken financial literacy training the benefits from having done so. “This survey provides key insights from our MSMEs respondents, and will serve as the basis of the discussions for our 2018 Policy Dialogue Series. We will incorporate the feedback from the deliberation of the policy dialogue into the findings from a separate survey we carried out on financial literacy training, and support providers from our stakeholder session with key MSMEs access to finance providers.”