Centre advocates deployment of productivity strategies among MSMEs
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will be able to maximise their outputs when they mainstream productivity improvement strategies into their operations, the Director-General of National Productivity Centre (NPC), Dr. Kashim Akor, has said.
Presenting a paper at the Zimbabwe National Productivity Summit in Harare, Akor submitted that productivity intervention for MSMEs can only be effective if bodies such as the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industries (NASSI) are committed to the promotion of productivity.
He added that most MSMEs have very poor housekeeping practices and weak continuous improvement culture, saying there is an urgent need for productivity promotion in MSMEs to be firmly rooted in the Kaizen philosophy.
The Kaizen theory entails ‘change for the better’ in everyday use, which refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small.
The NPC boss added: “Productivity measurement and strategic planning skills and competencies are a must for MSMEs to determine their productivity positions and craft strategies for sustainability. National Productivity Organisations (NPOs) must serve as partners to MSMEs to provide the necessary support required to nurture them from micro – small and to large – linking them to resources and institutions that can assist them.”
To increase the productivity of MSMEs, Akor said digitisation of businesses and upskilling of staff will greatly enhance the competitiveness and qualities of services rendered by MSMEs, as well as globally and regionally position them to compete with their counterparts both within the country and in the export markets.
The NPC helmsman insisted that the government should develop and implement policies that encourage and support agencies like the productivity centres to draw up detailed skill requirements for MSMEs as well as plans for how to get them upskilled to compete continentally and globally.
According to him, there is a need for a steering committee of agencies responsible for MSMEs development – standards organisations, productivity centre, food and drug administration and control, MSME associations, Banks of industry, Central Bank of Nigeria, SMEDAN – to convene frequently to isolate bottlenecks and hindrances to MSME growth and development