By Oluwafunke Ishola
Mrs Nike Adeyemi, Executive Director, Fate Foundation, has called for updated data on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, to help government make more impact in the sector.
Adeyemi made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
She said that effective policy for the MSME sector could only be achieved with reliable and updated data to guide policy making, implementation and monitoring.
“There still remains a significant gap in research work within the Nigerian entrepreneurship ecosystem and the MSME space.
“We use outdated data while planning programmes for the MSME sector, and this reduces the success and impact of such policies and programmes.
“The last report we have on numbers of MSMEs in the country was 37 million as at 2013, as revealed by a SMEDAN report.
“This data has definitely changed.
“There ought to be a yearly update to show increase or decrease in numbers and activities of the sector, to plan appropriate policies for its growth,” she said.
According to her, findings reveal that there is an existing or perceived disconnect between government’s policy intent and the realities of MSMEs operation.
She said the disconnect was exacerbated due to challenges of access to adequate information and knowledge required by MSMEs to drive the desired goal.
“Each category of MSME has its own peculiar characteristics and problems in its own geographical dynamic, which requires targeted policies to address them.
“Most policies do not specifically address or differentiate the needs of each segment, which is principally the disconnect that needs to be addressed,” Adeyemi said.
She said that there was need for constant dialogue between the government and the private sector to deliberate on research findings and proffer solutions that would address the gap and boost economic growth.
“To assist government to appreciate expectations from the MSME and bridge such gap, Fate Foundation evolved dialogue sessions that would enable engagement between the government and MSME stakeholders,” she said.
Adeyemi said that such dialogue was critical for the country to boost productivity, create jobs and forge inclusive growth.