Small and Medium Enterprises hold the key to employment generation in the country. National Co-ordinator, Federation of Women Association I Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FEDWIM) Dr Anne Ugbo, who made the assertion, therefore, urged stakeholders in various sectors to partner with small businesses to create jobs for the mass population of unemployed people in Nigeria.
Dr Ugbo who spoke in Abuja during the “African Single Market World Commodities Summit, and Expo 2021 with Digital Economy in Africa”, further remarked that
Small and medium enterprises had the ability to create a lot of job opportunities if they had the right collaboration with stakeholders from federal agencies and departments.
She said that such partnership and collaboration would help the SMEs either to find funding, strengthen their organizational structure or to build network on how to market and export their produced goods.
Ugbo also said the organisation was seeking opportunities that could be of benefit to women and the youth.
She added that the African single market world commodities summit had provided the platform for them to meet relevant stakeholders.
She, however, noted that the publicity of the summit was low, and urged the organisers of the programme to engage more in advertisements to create awareness.
“FEDWIM is a major promoter of small and medium enterprises.
“We are also trainers and consultants. We try to bring a network between government and the SMEs.
“We are here to take advantage of what this organisation has to offer to MSMEs. This is another window where we can partner and collaborate and go forward.
“All we are saying is for the SMEs to be carried along to benefit, otherwise it will not translate to changing the economy.
“We’ve been able to meet several stakeholders here, and they’ve been able to educate us and given us directions on how we can get engaged with them and other groups.
“A lot of women are not aware of this. In a digital economy, organisations and service providers should be able to engage social media and the internet to be able to send their messages across,” she added.
Mr Mohammed Hasimiyu, the Principal Executive Officer, Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Federal ministry of Water Resources (FMWR), in an exhibition during the summit highlighted the efforts of the department to partner small businesses.
“Currently we have what we call ‘promotion of gender in Agriculture’.
“We are into micro irrigation project. We have one in Sokoto, which is completed and handed over to the River basin. We also have one in Maiduguri.
“Some companies have come for the micro irrigation project. It’s a very good opportunity for you to come in also.
“You can easily apply because the programme is for the promotion of gender in agriculture,” Hasimiyu said.