Ibadan, Jan. 13, 2024: National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) has said that 2023 was not a good year for the production sector in Nigeria.
Chairman of NASME in Oyo State, Mr John Karunwi, stated in Ibadan on Friday that the year was characterised by cashless policy, inflation, subsidy removal and forex, notwithstanding the Federal Government’s efforts to give grants and loans through SMEDAN.
Consequently, the NASME chairman has called on the federal government to improve on palliatives to be given to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 2024.
“The federal government rolled out some initiatives, such as giving N50,000 to MSMEs but it has not been disbursed; the process is still on and most MSMEs have applied.
“We are trusting government to fulfill its promise and hope that the money will get to the right people.
“It was really been a difficult time for many MSMEs in 2023 but we are hopeful that 2024 will be a better year,” Karunwi said.
He called for involvement of organisations like NASME, NASSI, Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as the manufacturing sector in the selection processes and disbursement of government palliatives.
“We want intervention from the government as early as January in order to give relief to the MSMEs.
“In the area of taxation, because most MSMEs are not making profits, they are finding it difficult to survive. So we want consolation in taxation, especially for nano, micro and small enterprises.
“This will ensure accelerated development in their operations,” he said.
Karunwi stressed the need for government to engage business development service providers (BDSP) trained by SMEDAN so that MSMEs could grow.
“Lots of MSMEs have other challenges aside financial and having BDSP as mentors and coaches will help their businesses to grow,” he said.
He also advocated for improved access to finance.
“We want government to make it easy to access finance at a single digit.
We know it government is trying in this regard but it can still do better.
“Most of the MSMEs have been able to benefit from government activities but sometimes, it is being politicised.
“You will see that so many MSMEs will apply for loan but only a few will get it. We want to see improvement in that area,” he said.
Karunwi also called for improvement in the energy sector, adding that lots of businesses were being affected by the irregular power supply, with much money going into fuel or alternate power sources.
“We want price stability, curbing of inflation and availability of power, as MSMEs cannot survive without all these in place,” he said.