The number of micro, small and medium enterprises across the country dropped by about two million between 2017 and 2021, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria stated on Monday.
It said the country’s MSMEs reduced from about 41 million in 2017 to 39 million in 2021, as this was due to the impact of COVID-19 and other challenges on small businesses nationwide.
The Director-General, SMEDAN, Dikko Radda, disclosed this at an event organised by the Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative in collaboration with SMEDAN in Abuja.
He 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 the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges MSMEs have in accessing funds to start or grow their enterprise and the problems of globalisation.”
Radda, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, SMEDAN, Wale Fasanya, said both the public and private sectors had roles to play in the sustainable development of MSMEs in Nigeria.
He also noted that the contribution of MSMEs to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product dropped by 3.5 per cent in 2021, adding that MSMEs accounted for 6.2 per cent of external trade in the same year.
“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 GDP dipped by 3.5 per cent in 2021 and only accounted for 6.2 per cent of external trade,” he stated.
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Radda added, “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 potentials that lie within the MSMEs are fully exploited to create wealth, employment and reduce poverty in Nigeria.”
The Executive Director, Transparency Advocacy Development Initiative, Yomi David, said the event was organised to boost the roles of MSMEs in building capacity for national development.
He urged the Federal Government to upgrade SMEDAN to a commission for maximum performance.