Experts want MSMEs to leverage technology for growth, expansion
·Abiru organises capacity development for 1000 small business owners
Tokunbo Abiru Constituency Team Foundation (TACT), Fate Foundation and Bank of Industry (BoI) among others have harped on the need for efficient technology to boost the nation’s economy.
They stressed that with technology, millions of SMEs in Nigeria can expand their reach.
This was disclosed at a capacity development training for 1000 Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises, (MSMEs) in the Lagos East Senatorial district.
The one-day MSME Clinic/Workshop, which was organised in conjunction with The Fate Foundation, had notable people in the MSMEs ecosystem in attendance, which include Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan; Executive Chairman, Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Ayodele Subair; Executive Secretary and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Mrs. Tejumola Abisoye, among others.
Specifically, Abiru who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on industries stressed the importance of embracing the new normal occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that this would enable businesses to thrive beyond the shore of the country.
He added that beyond the basic academic education, there was a need for the people to skill themselves in innovation, Internet of Things, automation, among others.
“This is the age of digital transformation, and Nigeria cannot afford to be behind. There are various campuses where these things are taught. It is important because this is the new world we live in, so for you to survive and be competitive, you have to be part of them. We just have to embrace it,” Abiru said.
“It’s very important that they have to embrace the new normal properly and thankfully part of what is shaping the new normal is the android and IOS phones that we use and are quite conversant with,” he stated.
Highlighting the critical roles MSMEs play in the nation’s economic development, the Senator said MSMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development, adding that they represent about 90 per cent of businesses and more than 70 per cent of employment worldwide.
“Formal SMEs contribute up to 40 per cent of national income (GDP) in emerging economies. These numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included. The latest SMEDAN/NBS MSME Survey indicates Nigeria’s SMEs contribute nearly 50 per cent of the country’s GDP and account for over 80 per cent of employment in the country.
“It has been projected by the World Bank that about 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development a high priority for many governments around the world. In emerging markets, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which create 7 out of 10 jobs”, Abiru told the participants.
On his part, Executive Director, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), BoI, Omar Shekarau stated that technology was important in the skimming of things in the country.
He added that today’s world has moved from analogue to digital, so technology is what will drive businesses, they can stay in their room and deliver goods both far and near in the world.
Managing Director, TDX, Segun Abodunrin explained how the use of technology can be leveraged to boost the country’s economy.
He added that technically, the Internet has helped every business to have access to the market and there are lots of benefits as it provides easy access to customers.
“When the benefits of technology are utilized, it will result in more people being engaged and this is good news for the economy.
“This is why it’s important for small businesses to understand how to leverage technology so that they can have access to customers. Every small business regardless of the budget that you have, the same way a multinational will advertise on the Internet is the same way a small business will advertise.
“When you hear the word digital a lot of people think it’s mainly advertising online. But there is more, digital is about leveraging technology across the entire business value chain.
“There are several digital tools today to help small businesses become more efficient and effective in delivering value to customers and most of these digital tools are completely free or you pay a token. A small business that has access to those tools can effectively position itself to compete with multinationals and grow.”