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The acting Managing Director of Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Waheed Olagunju, yesterday, described Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as catalyst for economic sustainability.
Olagunju, who was a guest speaker at the 20th annual public lecture of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN), lamented that Nigeria’s economy had under performed due to weak SMEs sector in the country.
The BOI boss, who spoke on the theme: « SMEs as a catalyst for sustained economic growth in Nigeria, » said that SMEs contribute to the gross domestic product, employment, export generation and increasing value addition.
« With a population of 180m, Nigeria is a huge market for goods and services, » he said. « We can promote SMEs in each of the 774 local governments in Nigeria, using areas where the local governments have comparative advantage. »
He said that SMEs were not doing well in Nigeria due to weak local patronage, lack of infrastructure and information, and over dependence on sophisticated imported technology.
He said that SMEs can be promoted to bridge the infrastructure deficit in the country.
In his welcome address, the President of the CIPMN, Mr Anthony Arabome, said that the Institute had contributed its quota to development of the nation, citing the « recent study on unemployment situation in the country, » as an example.
He urged federal government to eliminate obstacles in the way of SMEs for them to participate effectively in development of Nigeria’s economy.