MSMEs As Bedrock Of Industralisation
Nigeria, with a vast landscape littered with a plethora of carcasses of once thriving motor assembly plants and textile mills, offers a telling and painful story that the pragmatic and sensible route to a nation’s industrialisation is one that is home-grown. It is a path that is as tortuous, long as it is slow, but, it is the only pragmatic and sensible way to go.
Nigeria has found herself in the present economic doldrums, essentially because our policy makers in the preceding years since independence, inexplicably, failed to look into, or harness the nation’s abundant human and natural resources. Instead of encouraging indigenous entrepreneurs engaged in micro, medium and small scale industrial ventures, they embarked on the patently futile option of building grandiose manufacturing outfits and industries. Because, they were dependent on technology, the resultant structures and industrial edifices were built on quicksand that would naturally give way sooner than later. That is the pathetic situation we are faced with today.
It is in the light of the above that we commend the emphasis being placed by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration on an aggressive promotion of micro, medium and small scale enterprises as the corner stone of its industrialisation drive. It is in this vein that we commend the zeal of Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, who, as Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has demonstrated single-minded commitment in the execution of her assignment of superintending the administration’s policy thrust of boosting and nurturing the MSMEs through manufacturing and ensuring sustainable growth in the economy.
Based on what are perceptible results on ground, we concur with Aisha Abubakar’s remarks made at the just-concluded Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) held in South Africa, that the administration of President Buhari has made various strides in the development of entrepreneurship and achievement of a comprehensive safety net for the poor and ordinary Nigerians. While there are people, for reasons of genuine ignorance or incurable cynicism who may refuse to buy into the self-praise of the minister, we agree however that the present administration in the country has covered remarkable milestones in its chosen strategy of putting the country on the course of industrialisation. We are quick to recall the recent allocation of a whopping 10 million US dollars, coming after similar allocations by the regime, to the MSMEs. We believe such gestures are practical and honest steps towards providing the needed catalyst and impetus to budding indigenous entrepreneurs.
Other policies, programmes and actions of the Buhari administration that we also see as steps in the right direction, include ongoing process of the conversion of some of the existing industrial development centres to industrial clusters with the objective of ultimately improving the global competiveness of Nigeria’s MSMEs. Also worthy of note is the stated policy of digitalisation of the economy; the Nigerian industrialisation revolution plan within the framework of robust support for micro, small and medium scale enterprises. We can also see some ray of hope in the nation’s strive towards economic development and growth in the Graduate Empowerment Schemes (GES), the Youth Empowerment Schemes (YES), and the special attention being given to women by the administration under the supervision of Aisha Abubakar.
Our stand on President Buhari’s policy strategy on industrialisation, investments and trade is hinged not only on the results already manifesting, but also, one that is based on our conviction that the nation is embarking on a journey in the right direction. We believe that, as observed by the Johannesburg Global Entrepreneurship Congress, MSMEs offer the catalyst for economic development and therefore, it is imperative that governments at all levels should prioritise issues relating to them especially, at a time when the economic condition is not thriving. We commend the team work and success recorded by those in charge, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments and his Minister of State, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar as midwives of the government’s policy in the context of turning the country’s economy around at a time of global recession. The accomplishments may not appear as earth shaking or revolutionary, they are yet, visible, inspiring signs that there is light at the end of the tunnel in the nation’s quest and drive towards industrialisation.
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