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Experts chart path to SMEs growth in Nigeria


Aerial view of buildings and markets on Lagos Island.

•As NSE woos small businesses to ASEM platform
For small and micro businesses (SMEs) to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s export, a holistic and prolonged intervention approach that would stimulate activities across the entire value chain of the businesses must be considered.

The Managing Partner, Ciuci Consulting, Chukwuka Monye, at the launch of Nigeria Business Composite 10 (NiBC 10), at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in Lagos on Wednesday, said a lot is needed to be done to ensure that the sector contributed significantly to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), as prevalent in developed countries.

The NiBC is a group of select businesses Ciuci has worked with to achieve remarkable improvement at different stages.

Specifically, Monye pointed out that financing, infrastructure, transfer of knowledge and favourable policy are critical areas in need of intervention, adding that the sector constitute a major part of industrial activity in both developed and emerging economies.

According to him, while SMEs are defined as enterprises with less than 250 employees with annual turnover not exceeding N18.36billion in Europe, the U.S. Small Business Advocacy classifies it as enterprises with fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue of between $7million and $25million.

Regrettably, Monye said despite that 96 per cent of Nigerian businesses are SMEs, compared with 53 and 65 per cent in the U.S. and Europe respectively, the sector contributes barely seven per cent to the nation’s total export.

“Interventions b y government must be holistic and multi prolonged. Many small business owners are actually doing well given that the current business administration has recorded good successes in terms of ease of doing business.

“However, more interventions are required to further stimulate development al activities in the sector. Our small business need to become more than potential they need to be real engine of growth that has benefitted from an enabling environment such as policies and infrastructure.”

The NiBC 10 businesses are Bestman Games Limited, DBH Solutions Limited, Everyday Supermarket, Healthcare Leadership Academy, Ugo Monye and a host of others.

The Managing Director, Ugo Monye Limited, Ugo Monye, a contemporary fashion brand, noted that there has been weak overall support from government in areas of incentives, innovations, IT support, intellectual property and capital venture, urging government to provide more interventions stimulus to spur activities in the sector.

The Head, Growth Segment/ASeM, Domestic Primary Markets of the NSE, Mohammed A Mohammed, said the NiBC 10 was launched by Ciuci, in partnership with the Exchange.

According to him, the synergy is to attract some of these businesses that are qualified to the NSE ASEM platform.

“Ciuci approached the NSE to be able to celebrate their 10th year anniversary and honour their clients, and NSE saw that as a strategic partnership to be able to bring into the room most of their clients that qualify or fall directly or indirectly on our realm of businesses within our alternative securities market so it is a win-win situation.

“They are here, they have brought their clients, and we have told them about the alternative securities market. The response is good, and we are looking at a number of these clients having an interactive section with our designated advisers whose responsibility is to guide them and bring them to the market.”

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