As the world marked the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Day on the 27th of June, set aside every year by the United Nations to celebrate the contributions of MSMEs to sustainable development globally, small business owners in Nigeria are calling for the establishment of a micro-enterprise bank in the country. The theme for 2018 MSME Day is ‘Youth Dimension: Centring on Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment’. To mark the day, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) featured an exhibition where discussants across key areas emphasized the importance of the sector.
In his remark, National President, Association of Micro-Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), Mr. Saviour Iche, called for the emergence of a micro enterprise bank to assist the Bank of Industry (BoI) in providing loans to small business owners. He said some entrepreneurs needed as low as N20, 000 to start their businesses, noting that BoI was saddled with the responsibility of huge loans with stringent conditions, which discourage small entrepreneurs. Director of UNIC, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, called for increased participation of youths in MSMEs to eradicate poverty in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations by 2030.
On his part, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Babatunde Paul Ruwase, called on government to sustain the current reform efforts to ensure stronger and sustainable businesses in Nigeria. “There is need for good policy and regulatory environment that supports the reform on the ease of doing business,” he added. Director General, RMRDC, Dr. (Mrs.) Zainab Hammanga, reiterated the importance of MSME sector in sustaining manufacturing in Nigeria. She expressed concerted efforts of RMRDC to ensure the survival of MSMEs through awareness creation and information dissemination to interested investors and information seekers in resource-based manufacturing.
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