Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are considered the mainstays of any economy. In Nigeria, 96% of its businesses are MSMEs which account for 50% of its GDP in 2020 and employed 84.02% of its total labour force. On this note, youths need to be enlightened about the opportunities in the industry. Because it’s easy to enter and more flexible than other industries. As a novice, all you need to do is to equip yourself well with proper training and certification.
NIGERIA’S AGRICULTURAL DEMAND HIGHLY BASED ON IMPORTATION
Nigeria relies heavily on imports to meet its food and agricultural demands for instant wheat, and rice. Annually, the country spent about €46,022,000,000 on the importation of food products. This discourages the growth of MSMEs in the country. Federal Government introduced some programs, such as Anchor Borrowers, in a bid to reduce importation. Similarly, a bunch of opportunities exist in agricultural processing. For this reason, the government needs to chip in to support agro-processing equipment manufacturers in the country.
In the same vein, recent programs such as Smallholder Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC) have contributed immensely to easing access to finance for Nigerian MSMEs. For example, through Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) initiatives bunch of MSMEs have benefited. NIRSAL spent over N503,000,000,000 in loans to MSMEs in the country. Additionally, more than 103,185 MSMEs have benefited from N104,023,000,000 valued loans. Up till now, Agric Small Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS) is giving loans to MSMEs. Through AGSMEIS, in one year 31,067 MSMEs have benefited from an N116,001,000,000 loan
IMPORTATION AN ENEMY TO THE GROWTH OF MSMEs
Similarly, earlier this year, the federal government noted that “it might stop fish importation” by 2022. Though, Nigeria is among the largest producers of fish in Africa. But its annual deficit amounted to 2,500,000 tons. Within eleven months, Nigeria has spent N500,000,000,000 on fish importation. Indeed, this is huge money, so developing our local MSMEs might improve fish production in the country.
Furthermore, in Nigeria’s forest industry, only 974,674 hectares are productive while 2,342,147 hectares are partly productive. This necessitates the need to sustainably manage the sector. The sector needs serious attention for the country to meet its future wood demand.
Lastly, Nigeria spent a huge amount of money on the importation of dairy products to meet national demand. Early this year, the Nigerian government lower the importation of dairy-related products, to bolster its production in the country. Besides, there’s over N500,000,000,000, 165,000,000, and 650,000 demand for poultry, chickens, and metric tons of eggs in Nigeria respectively this’s a great opportunity for MSMEs because importation of poultry products is prohibited.
More than any time, the MSMEs sector in Nigeria needs collective efforts considering its importance to the economy and the role it plays in economic growth and development. With the youth unemployment soaring, bridging the gaps and grabbing the opportunities within the Nigerian agricultural, fisheries, and forestry MSMEs is instrumental in bringing a lasting solution to poverty, and economic hardship in the country.