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SMEs’ Owners Seek Involvement In Policy-Making For Real Sector

The Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON) has reiterated the need for its participation and representation at all levels of Federal Government’s decision and policy making processes as they relate to the nation’s real sector.

The National President of the association, Dr. Femi Egbesola, made this demand on Tuesday during the launch of the association’s movement tagged ‘Movement from Growth and Sustainability of Small Business in Nigeria’.

The industrialist explained that Nigeria’s economy can only thrive and grow if government adopts continuous Public Private Partnership/Dialogue (PPP/PPD) approach with major stakeholders in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) industry.

According to him, doing this will benefit the economy and by implication, encourage SMEs stakeholders to do more in improving the sub-sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

He noted the huge contributions of SMEs to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), necessitated the need for government programmes  to possess the p-value (productivity).

On the Federal Government/Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stimulus package for SMEs, the leader of the association noted that the impact would be greater if the right individuals were involved.

Citing an intensive research conducted by the association on SMEs multi-faceted challenges to justify his position, Egbesola said that though government policies were impactful, the SMEs performance varied due to government policy thrusts.

Specifically, he disclosed that the research findings indicated that government policy had positive influence on business growth of SMEs, if done in collaboration with the relevant SMEs stakeholders, adding that “this means that any increase on development and growth of SMEs sector will be triggered if there are right government policies in place.

“Furthermore, the coefficient of determination reveals that government policy had a moderate effect on business growth and is also responsible for 53 per cent variance in business growth of SMEs.

“Also, the research revealed that PPP and PPD are crucial for effective development and implementation of initiatives that advance stakeholders inclusion and inclusive growth”, the ASBON leader added.

The industrialist, however, stressed the need for government and the private sector to collaborate for the purposes of creating enabling operating environment for businesses to thrive.

Expatiating further on the report’s findings, Egbesola explained that the report showed that government-led initiatives were crucial to positive growth, adding that 61 percent of SMEs surveyed recognised the great potential of PPP and PPD.

He said: “While 63 per cent think private sector initiatives and partnerships will benefit businesses and markets in which they operate.

“Government must, therefore, work closely with SMEs and others to advance SME inclusion into the digital economy through tailor-made digitalisation strategies, cutting edge technologies, insights and policy advice”, he stressed

On the way forward, Egbesola recommended that government should enact and implement laws, regulations and policies that would link institutional development to entrepreneurial growth and survival.



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