Ignorance bane of SMEs growth in Nigeria — Expert

Ignorance about available business opportunities was on Wednesdsy identified as one of the major factors militating against the growth of small
and medium-scale entreprises in Nigeria.

A council member of the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Shade Bembatoum-young, stated this her presentation at a workshop in
Lagos.

Ms. Bembatoum-young, an SME facilitator, said most small and medium scale entreprise owners do not leverage on the potentials available to them in the industry.

Despite the harsh business environment
in the country, she said there were still viable oportunities they should know about and take advantage of.

Lamenting the poor communication gap between SME operators and government agencies, Ms. Bembatoum-young called on the concerned agencies to sensitize the people about their programmes and activities.

“Until recently, I did not know there was an Institute of Packaging in Nigeria. I am sure no one here knows, too,” she said.

While imploring the Nigerian SME operators to work together to achieve success in the non-oil export value chain, Ms. Bembatoum-young argued
that something drastic must be done at the state and local government levels for the SMEs to witness sustainable growth.

She also advised government to make skill acquisition schemes and training programmes available to people at the grassroots to enable them take advantage of the huge potentiàls and opportunities available.

“Export doesn’t come from Abuja. SME owners shouldn’t be asked to go to Abuja to get basic things done when they are producing in Kebbi or
Osun states or any other places in the country,” she said.

She however advised SME facilitators across the country to focus on made-in-Nigeria products they can export to the global market, stressing that many people around the world now patronise Nigerian brands.

“Some products will do better in the export market than in the Nigerian market. You will be surprised at how many people are now buying our bags abroad,” she said.

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