The Minister of Trade and investment, Olusegun Aganga said that the best way to checkmate the increasing rate of unemployment in Nigeria is to have a virile Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Scale sub-sector of the economy.
Mr Aganga who was speaking at a meeting with the SME desk managers of the various financial institutions in the country said that Nigeria has close to 20 million MSME’s a figure representing more than 80% of the total number of enterprises in the country and also 75% of employment base in the country.
The Minister said that in the developed economies like that of the United Kingdom, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the major employers of labour.
“If you like at the United Kingdom, for example, their job creation strategy is heavily focused on SMEs. The assumption is that if they have four million SMEs, and only half of those four million create a job every year, two million jobs will be created easily,” he said.
He said that if only about a quarter of the 20 million SMEs in Nigeria “create one job a year, that is about five million jobs.”
Mr Aganga said that if the enabling environment for the sub-sector to thrive is not created, Nigeria will suffer the negative consequences as such there is a pressing need to proactively evolve ways and means of addressing the challenges confronting the growth of the sector in view of the huge opportunities that exist in the sub-sector.
He says with creative innovations the contribution of the Small and Medium Enterprise to the GDP of the country could increase from 10 to 30 per cent, while also increasing employment.