NCDMB mounts small businesses summit in PH

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Moves to boost small businesses in the oil region

* Executive Secretary frowns at SMEs low contribution to export

By Codratus Godson

On Friday, 12 February 2021, hundreds of small business operators in the oil region below the age of 45 were brought to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for an SME summit that would take deeper look at micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the oil region, tagged ‘2021 Niger Delta Micro, Small and Medium

Enterprise Summit, with the theme: “Stimulating MSMEs’ Growth Beyond

Oil.”

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) with headquarters in Bayelsa, the heart of the oil region, may this have perfected strategies to boost small businesses in the Niger Delta.

The Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, who did not disclose specific measures to boost the SMEs, observed that whereas small businesses in other parts of the world contribute up to 65 per cent to export, Nigerian SMEs merely contribute eight per cent.

Presenting a keynote address to the large number of participants at the Azctec Centre on Stadium Road, Wabote said: “The MSMEs activities to supply the markets in Nigeria is

however, potentially very strong. With the MSMEs, owning 95 per cent of businesses and generating 84 percent of employment in Nigeria, coupled with the contribution of 48 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the MSMEs remain the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, despite the challenging times we are facing.”

The NCDMB boss stated that MSMEs have good representation across the various sub-sectors that constitute the non-oil sector of the economy, pointing out that MSMEs were known to contribute to value addition of their host countries.

Wabote said: “Interestingly, MSMEs have a very good representation across the various sub-sectors that constitute the non-oil sector. MSMEs represent over 42 per cent of the goal sale retail sector and about nine per cent of the manufacturing sector of the Nigerian economy. This, the data shows that our service sector is very strong and we need to do more in the manufacturing area.

“Another area that the MSMEs are known to contribute a very significant value addition is in the export of goods to host countries all over the world. MSMEs total addition to export of countries like Portugal, Australia, Italy, Turkey and the United States of America, were about 65 percent, 60 percent, 62 percent, 60 percent and 45 percent respectively. The MSMEs contribution to export in Nigeria is however just about eight

per cent.”

Earlier in his address, Convener of the summit, Moses Siloko Siasia, said young people were the greatest contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Siasia said: “We understand the challenges we are facing as a people and also as a nation. You will agree with me that as young people who are contributing very immensely and sincerely to the GDP growth of the nation, which are owned by young people, most importantly, the Niger Delta that has been nourished by generations of broken promises.

“The future and destiny of this nation lies in our hands as young people. I want to say that those who are contributing to the GDP growth of this nation, those who are contributing to the aspirations and projecting the collective image of this nation today are young people.

“The greatest contributors to our GDP are young people doing business, those in the creative industry, those in the ICT industry and those in our sports industry.”

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