World MSMEs Day: CITAD organize interface for entrepreneurs, SMEDAN, other small scale actors in Kano
To commemorate this year’s Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Day, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has organized an interactive session for entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized businesses, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and other business actors in Kano with a view to exploring and sharing their experiences on obstacles and challenges to the existence and sustenance of the business.
In his welcome remarks, the Executive Director of CITAD, Dr. Yunusa Zakari Ya’u who was represented by Senior Programmes Officer, Isah Garba noted that the day whose theme is “Resilience and Rebuilding” was originally observed on 27th June, 2022 and it was set by the United Nations to highlight the vital role of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises for a fair and sustainable recovery.
Ya’u added that interfacing the small and medium-sized businesses owners with agencies such as SMEDAN is a way to build resilience and sustainability through experience sharing and networking.
Also in his remarks, CITAD’s coordinator for Jobs Placement and Information Services Unit (JOPIS), Sagiru Ado Abubakar said CITAD took interest in marking the day with stakeholders and actors within the small and medium-sized enterprises because of its passion for growth, promotion and support to enterprises and entrepreneurship activities.
Sagiru said, “at JOPIS unit we have been couching, training and supporting entrepreneurship activities, small and medium-sized businesses, ideas and innovations, solutions, etc aimed at providing jobs, livelihood and sustenance to individuals and groups for many years”
“we held several training sessions and hands-on guidance on accessing grants, starting businesses, surviving challenges and excelling, in our database we have good stories to share on individuals and groups we trained who succeeding getting grants, start-up supports, jobs, etc”
In his presentation on “Resilience and rebuilding of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises”, Alh. Muhammad Kamis Umar, Chairman, Association of Sharada Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises narrated series of challenges faced by the enterprises and what he termed as “destroyers” of surviving enterprises. According to him enterprises have had their worst experiences during and at post-COVID periods.
“multiple taxation, high electricity tariffs, high cost of diesel, low or no profit, maintaining workforce, lack of governmental interventions and support to enterprises, etc have severely crippled and killed many enterprises”
“it is shocking how many enterprises have shutdown exacerbating the plight of many families and there is no concrete reactivation mechanisms from the government”
“we normally hear of interventions said to be designed for small and medium-sized enterprises but the irony is these interventions don’t get to the real enterprises, they end up reaching the non-operational and paper-based enterprises this is unfortunate”.
“many enterprises had to lay off staff not because they want but because they want to do that but because of the unbearable situation” Mr. Umar recommended that for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to recover and survive taxation has to be decent and centralized and subsidy on electricity tariffs be provided to the enterprises.
In his remarks also at the commemoration, Alh. Bashir Jafar Aminu, the Kano state manager, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) unveiled programmes and support interventions rolled by his agency to the small and medium enterprises.
He said the agency is a number of interventions at the moment to support small and medium enterprises such as One Local Government One Product (OLOP), National School Entrepreneurship Programme (N-SEP), Sub-contracting and Partnership Exchange (SPX), etc.
The interface ended with promise for collaboration between the members of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises community in Kano and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) in the areas of information sharing, guidance and couching around interventions aimed at supporting the recovery and growth of the enterprises.