The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), says it will continue to create opportunities for MSMEs to penetrate local and international markets.
The Director-General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, said this at the opening of the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) Opportunity Fair 2022 in Benin on Wednesday.
Fasanya said lack of access to market was one of the challenges that was preventing MSMEs from expanding as well as being competitive.
“The idea of the Opportunity Fair is to impact MSMEs, It is a way to assist them to access market, technology, finance, networking, capacity building.
“If all these are put in place, it means their businesses will run better.”
He said the fair was a one -stop shop to solve the challenges of MSMEs as the different regulatory and business promotion bodies as well as financial institutions were on ground to provide support.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, said that one could not underscore the fact that MSMEs were the engine of any economy, as they remained the largest employers of labour.
Obaseki said the theme for the Fair, ‘Expanding Market Access for Nigerian MSMEs’, reinforced his administration’s objectives to partner with private sector to promote enterprise and skills development in the state.”‘In Edo, we have been intentional in creating the right atmosphere for the development of small businesses, which have been anchored on the state skills development drive.”
The governor was represented by Hon Afishetu Braimoh, the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Cooperative in Edo.
The governor urged MSMEs owners attending the Fair to leverage the platform provided to showcase their products, services and innovation.
Speaking in his capacity as Commissioner, Braimoh said the state had initiated a project tagged “Farm to Table” where 20 made in Edo products would be promoted to the shelter of top shops in the state.
Braimoh said that the Fair would help MSMEs tackle challenges of lack of market information, access to market as well as harnessing of export potential.
Represented by Mrs Evelyn Imode, the Director, Trade and Promotion in the ministry, the Commissioner said, “this exhibition is a clarion call on all Edo people to improve their patronage of goods and services made in the state.”
“MSMEs activities in the state range from processing to production of consumer goods, from supply of input to the real estate, distribution, and creative industries, among others.”
In her remarks, wife of Edo Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, who declared the Fair opened, commended the organisers as well as sponsors for providing an opportunity for MSMEs to grow their businesses.
Obaseki said that Edo government was passionate about the growth and sustainability of MSMES, noting that the Production Hub in the state had provided a space for businesses to enjoy minimum cost of production.