The federal government says it will implement development programmes in the Micro, Small and Medium-Enterprises (MSMEs) to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and women.
Dr Samuel Ortom, Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, announced this in Abuja on Monday at the public presentation of the 2012 Enterprise Baseline Survey (EBS) report.
Ortom said that MSMEs were incontrovertible contributors to job creation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation, globally recognised as engines of economic growth and industrialisation.
He said that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics conducted the 2010 National MSMEs Survey in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He said the survey is part of the mandate of the ministry and in recognition of the importance of credible and reliable data for planning and policy formulation.
He further said that the survey showed that there were more than 17 million MSMEs in Nigeria, employing more than 32 million persons and contributing 47 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
"Deliberate efforts must be put in place to grow these numbers if we must achieve our national vision of being among the 20 most industrialised nations by 2020.
"The relevance of data for the planning and implementation of development programmes in the MSMEs sub-sector in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.
"But due to the absence of reliable and detailed MSMEs database, it has been very difficult to translate the general policy framework into effective and sustainable intervention programmes," the minister said.
In response to this, Ortom said that SMEDAN in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and other stakeholders, therefore, conducted EBS in Plateau, Niger, Kwara, Oyo and Ogun in March.
He said the survey was to generate more credible and reliable data for the MSMEs sub-sector in the country.
"I, therefore, recommend the EBS 2012 Report for all policy makers, researchers, industrialists and MSMEs operators as a ready tool for driving MSMEs development," he said.
In his remark, the GIZ Country Director, Mr Carola Jacobi-Sabou, said boosting the output, competitiveness and productivity of MSMEs should be a focus of Nigeria's economic and social policy.
According to him, the MSMEs contributed nearly half of the GDP and account for more than 25 per cent of employment in the country. NAN