Stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to prioritise developmental initiatives towards Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development, by improving the ease of doing businesses and providing a separate tax regime for the SME sub sector in the country.

The stakeholders sue for a tax regime that would support MSMEs, as well as an integration of the sector into the value-chain, while recommending that about 10 per cent of public procurement should be handled by such businesses to aid their growth.

Moreover, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has restated its commitments to work on developing innovative products and services to support MSMEs’ operations in the country, noting that promoting the growth of small businesses in the country is the fastest way to transform and achieve rapid industrial growth and development.

The Managing Director of W-holistic Business Solution Limited, Mrs. Lanre Oniyitan who also doubles as a Business Development Service Provider (BDSP) added that MSMEs are not growing as fast they should, as she stressed the need to deepen their quality, density and increase their turnaround time. ‎

To her, MSMEs can occupy a larger role compared to what they are currently doing, saying that reasons why most small businesses fail is due to absence of right and adequate structures.

She urged the federal government to provide incentives for large enterprises to integrate SMEs into their value chain while also empowering relevant regulatory agencies to protect local industries from the influx of fake and substandard goods ‎into the country.

She tasked BoI to evaluate its portfolio to ensure that it supports SMEs beyond numbers, saying that SMEs need pre and post financial investment support to actualize their ‎dreams.

The Regional Head-Lagos Region, BoI, Akinsola Adetokunbo, during the bank’s customers’ engagement forum, tagged “Growing MSMEs in Lagos and Ogun States: The Challenges and Prospects”, said all hands are on deck to see the dreams of small business owners come to reality by supporting and empowering them with the requisite skills and financial resources needed to survive the operating environment in Nigeria.

“The essence of organising this customer forum was actually to engage our customers to hear them out and seek areas of adjustment in order to make them happy and better customers. To us, customer is king and we do all what we can to avoid situations that will make the customers to be angry with the bank, because this is not good for our image. Negative information from the customer can go viral to affect the good image we have built over the years.

“From our interactions today, we have been able to see areas where we have done extremely well and areas where we still need to improve upon. We will do everything possible to make sure that whatever products and services that needs to be deployed to achieve better and efficient performances ‎are used.”

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rofenik  Associates and Investment Limited, Olufemi Ogunje, said the growth of SMEs in Lagos and Ogun States must be supported to provide job opportunities, better performance and positive impact on human life.

He said the challenges faced by MSMEs are self-induced by MSMEs‎ such as absentee management, limited knowledge of the business, under-capitalization, improper record keeping, intentional poor debit servicing and ineffective management, adding that other bottlenecks are government induced and environment induced.

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