By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo, Jan. 20, 2021 Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, on Wednesday, inaugurated a 17-member Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to coordinate and drive the development of the state’s economy.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Wole Oyebamiji, tasked the inaugurated members on the critical assignment given to them.
“If you execute the assignment well, it will impact significantly on MSMEs in the state and position small businesses for increased productivity and better contributions to the economy.
“MSMEs constitute important components of our national economy.
“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, MSMEs have contributed about 48 per cent of the National Gross Domestic Products in the last five years, accounting for 96 percent of businesses and 48 percent of employment.
“These, undoubtedly, are very staggering facts and it speaks to the reality of MSMEs, being the backbone of our economy, with limitless capacity to do much more, if properly supported,” he said.
The governor said that government would be facilitating access to financial support for MSMEs in the state through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Empowerment.
He, however, commended the Federal Government and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) for pushing for a robust MSMEs programme by facilitating and sustaining a vibrant MSMEs sub-sector in the country.
He said that such efforts would lead to the springing of strong businesses that would meet local demands for goods and services, earn foreign exchange through exports and also create jobs for the unemployed youth.
In his address, the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, represented by Mr Olawale Fasanya, explained that the MSMEs policy was formulated in 2006 and subjected to reviews every four years.
He said that the last review had been completed and was awaiting the Federal Executive Council’s approval.
Radda added that the review was aimed at facilitating and sustaining a vibrant MSMEs sub-sector which would drive the national economic growth and development.
According to him, SMEDAN is a vanguard agency for MSMEs development, stressing that it is the conviction of the agency that small businesses are the hope and future of the country.
He commended Osun for being among the few states that had MSMEs councils in place.
Radda listed the functions of the state councils to include provision of guidance on policies and strategies to drive the development of the MSMEs sub-sector in the state.
Fostering increased awareness and ensuring stakeholders’ buy-in on MSMEs development programmes, initiatives and projects as well as addressing and resolving all cross-cutting issues affecting its development in the state.
Others, according to him, are: ensuring synergy among MSMEs-related agencies in the state, ensuring that the National Policy on MSMEs meets the intended goals and submitting periodic reports to the National Council on MSMEs.
Radda said that SMEDAN would continue to support the state government and every worthy cause that would add to real enterprise and MSMEs development in the state.