The Acting Governor of Edo State, Rt. Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, has reiterated the government’s commitment to the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), ensuring that small businesses are adequately supported to contribute effectively to the economy of the state.
Shaibu said this while addressing stakeholders at a meeting with MSMEs on the Edo Regional Plan and Master Plan at the John Odigie Oyegun Training Academy in Benin City.
Noting the all-important role MSMEs and other small businesses play in achieving sustainable economic growth, the acting governor said the government will continue to support the sector to thrive.
He said, “MSMEs are critical stakeholders in the development of the economy of Edo State and Nigeria. MSMEs account for over 65 percent of the GDP as your activities touch directly on the vulnerable and the larger masses.
“In terms of employment, MSMEs account for 79 percent. The lack of growth of MSMEs has affected the economy of the nation. This has led to industries moving out of the country.”
“Funding is the major catalyst that can grow MSMEs and we will ensure access to funding facilities for MSMEs to grow in Edo State,” he noted.
Urging financial institutions to support the government’s efforts at ensuring the growth of small businesses in the state, Shaibu further noted, “MSMEs need to be monitored as the government is interested in growing such businesses in Edo State. Until MSMEs stand, the economy will continue to shake. Our target is to have MSMEs account for 65 percent of our GDP in Edo State."
A representative of Siraj-Nigeria Limited in Benin, Ali Hijazy, said MSMEs represent 90 percent of businesses globally, noting that they provide 84 percent of employment in the country.
He said that MSMEs create jobs, reduce income disparity and provide breathing ground for entrepreneurs.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning, Regional and Urban Development, Isoken Omo, while delivering her welcome address, said the government’s recognition of the role of MSMEs in the development of the state necessitated the parley.
Omo said, “We have been having several stakeholders’ engagement with different stakeholders in the state on the master plan. Today, we are meeting with MSMEs because we recognize their vital role in the development of the state.
“There is a lot that comes from the informal sectors. Without the sector, we will not be able to make much progress with the master plan. We feel it's necessary for the group to understand what the state is doing because of your contribution to the economy.”