By Lucy Ogalue
The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained 30 owners of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on product standards and quality improvement.
The Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasaya said that the training would contribute to the economic development of the country.
Fasanya, represented by the agency’s Director of Enterprises Development and Promotion, Mr Monday Ewans, said that the programme was facilitated by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
According to him, with an estimated 39.6 million MSMEs accounting for 46. 3 per cent of GDP and 87.9 per cent of total employment, it is pertinent that the development of MSME sub-sector is at the forefront of the national development agenda.
While recognising some of the challenges confronting MSMEs in the country and the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, Fasanya said “it is for this reason that the training is crucial.
“Part of the complexities that the post-pandemic era has added are in the areas of regulations, technology use or adoption and access to markets among others.
“This training is therefore another opportunity to enrich our MSMEs and ensure that their products are of good quality and compliant with relevant regulations.
“I urge all relevant agencies to build the capacities of Nigerian MSMEs so they can take advantage of every open window,’’ he said.
The SMEDAN boss expressed optimism that participants would improve on the quality of their products, increase their knowledge of export market standards, certification and regulations.
He commended the Commonwealth Secretariat for the support to the programme and urged participants to apply the lessons learnt to improve and place their products on the global marketplace.
Also speaking, Mrs Azuka Ogundeji, Trade Adviser, Trade Competitiveness Section of the Commonwealth Secretaria reiterated that the role of MSMEs in the nation’s economic growth could not be over emphasised.
“They are key drivers of employment, provide decent jobs and entrepreneurship for women and youths and play a critical role in reducing poverty levels and closing the gender gap in the economy and society.
“The global e-commerce market is one of the fastest growing in the world, but Nigeria ranks 35th in the list of largest e-commerce markets.
“This training aims to create awareness on branding, packaging, product standards and national and international regulations,” Ogundeji said.
She further expressed optimism that the training would create an opportunity for the participants to learn, interact and broaden their perspectives.
A participant, Ms Justina Agbor said, “I am a fashion designer and hope to expand on my business.
“So, I am here with an open mind to learn a lot of things on how to rebrand and expand my business and ensure my business enters the global market.
“I am very confident that this training would avail me with the opportunity to achieve my dream and I thank the organisers for this opportunity”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 18 of the participants are into garment and leather while 12 are involved in agro processing. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ikenna Uwadileke/Sadiya Hamza