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MSMEs: FG urged to address policy bottlenecks for economic productivity

MSMEs: FG urged to address policy bottlenecks for economic productivity
September 29
16:50 2022

Stakeholders have called on the federal government to address the plethora of challenges impeding entrepreneurship development in the country and also harmonise the various economic policies to allow for a better business environment.

They spoke at the Freedom in Nigeria Conference, (FINCON) 2022 themed ‘trade, entrepreneurship and economic freedom’, held recently in Ibadan.

The stakeholders argued that entrepreneurship, including the micro, small, medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) have enormous capacity to address the economic challenges in the country.

Comprising of researchers, scholars, entrepreneurs; the stakeholders also want the government to address power supply issues, and access to funding, to enhance economic productivity and output.


Olawale Ogunkola, a professor of economics at the University of Ibadan, said the government needs to understand that many people described as economic saboteurs by engaging in illicit activities could be as a result of harsh economic realities, stating that, if policies were right, people would do better and do the right thing.

He said the huge capacity and potential of the entrepreneurs may not be realised due to many disjointed policies in the country.

“The capacity of entrepreneurship to transform our economy is huge but it may not be realised because we see them as individuals doing their own business. There are disjointed policies to make them relevant and add to the development of all,” Ogunkola said.


“And for entrepreneurship to be useful in terms of generating employment and supplying our needs, there is a need for basic infrastructures which are currently not there. If you’re able to fix electricity, you are likely to double the output of the country.

“So basic infrastructures are very, very key and right policies that will also help them to be integrated into the economic system is important. The role of the government is to maintain law and order, create a conducive environment and I trust my people will react to whatever is there.”

Also speaking at the event, Oyedunni Arulogun, director, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Ibadan, said Nigeria as a country has people with great entrepreneurial mindset and innovative skills, but the environment is not conducive for ideas to be nurtured.

However, she said the decline in prices of oil is forcing the government to go back to supporting SMEs, adding that the result would be achievable if a monitoring team is set up to look into how the existing policies can be improved to reflect modern trends.


“The solution is to put in the right people in place to implement policies. We need to have criteria for implementation with which we are going to measure the policies and use same to measure results,” Arulogun said.

“When many of the existing policies were made, the situation was different from what presently obtains. If we have monitoring, then we can measure effectiveness and efficiency.”

Meanwhile, FINCON is a child of a non-profit research and advocacy organisation, called Ominira Initiative. The event, being the maiden edition, was organised in support of Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity and Atlas Network.

Speaking on the essence of the conference, Lanre-Peter Elufisan, executive director, Ominira Initiative, said the programme was to create opportunity for entrepreneurs to brainstorm on their challenges while identifying solutions.


He said the recommendations would be presented to the government to help in policy formulation, noting that the conference is intended to be an annual event.

“We are at a critical time where Nigeria needs to become a free and prosperous nation else it will become a failed state. And to do this, we understand that we need good governance and political will to embrace trade, encourage entrepreneurship, to adopt policies that will create opportunities for Nigerians,” Elufisan said.


“That’s the only way to eradicate poverty and become the economic powerhouse that we desire. Our plan is to collate all that has been discussed here, look at the solutions that have been proposed and use that to make recommendations to relevant stakeholders.”


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