The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ilesha Branch under the leadership of Engr Mojirade Oloruntoba has offered suggestions on ways the SME could be revitalized to contribute into Nigerian economy.
Among the distinguished personalities who attended the event are: Engr Moyosore, chairman NSE VI Branch, who represented the President of The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Otis Oliver T. Anyaeji; Chairperson of the Branch, Engr. Mrs. Mojirade M. Oloruntoba; The Guest Lecturer, Dr. Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, Former Commissioner for Regional Integration & Special Duties, State Of Osun; The Awardee, Engr. Dr. Augustus Oluyemi Oke, Rector OSCOTECH; Immediate Past Chairman of the Branch, Engr T. R. Bamigbade; Deputy Rector, OSCOTECH and the Bursar OSCOTECH.
The event, which held in Ilesha is part of the branch’s contributions toward Nigeria’s quest for economic stability and sustainability after being hit by recession due to global oil prices crash.
The chairperson of the Branch, Engr Mojirade Oloruntoba noted in her introductory address, that “while the crude oil has contributed substantially to the Nigerian revenue, and leading to economic prosperity, the recent downturn recorded as a result of the global oil price crash is an eye opener which should open our eyes to urgency in moving away from mono-economy.”
“Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources which could have been harnessed for its growth and development; …” she observed.
Highlight of the Lecture: “Reviving and Sustaining Nigerian Economy Through Small and Medium Scale Enterprises”
The Guest speaker, Dr Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, a former Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties in Osun State took the audience through the journey into the world of SMEs’ challenges and proffered tips on the way forward.
Below is the highlights of his presentation.
Dr Surajudeen warned that the crucial roles of SME in the economy makes the sector too important to be ignored if we are serious about diversification of the economy.
- “17 million Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria, employs 32.41 million persons and makes a contribution of about 46.54 per cent to the nation’s Gros;” contributes as much as “nearly half of Nigerian GDP and accounts for over 25 percent of employment in the country.”
- In spite of the recognition of the crucial role of SMEs as key drivers of national economic growth and industrial development, SMEs in Nigeria due to a myriad of problems, especially inadequacy of infrastructure and capital have not played the expected ‘catalytic role in the economic transformation of Nigeria.’
- Analysis of the Major Challenges of SMEs listed the following:
- The most critical is the inadequacy of infrastructure which is at the heart of the survival and optimum performance of SMEs in the economic. This includes combination of poor, erratic and unreliable supply of electric power, deficient road network and inadequate port services, water, ICT .
- The insufficiency in infrastructure creates a harsh operational business environment for the SMES and negatively impacts the profitability and performance of SMEs.
“Government must as a matter of urgency address the infrastructure deficit gag in favour of attempts to cover the huge challenges faced by SMEs. Beginning with power, government should develop a comprehensive roadmap for the power industry in Nigeria that addresses the generation, transmission and distribution of power. Similarly, government should embark on road construction and rehabilitation to ease the transportation of goods and service.”
- High cost of doing business
- Limited access to finance
- The structure of the credit facilities, especially interest rates and repayment schedules are not too attractive to these enterprises.
- Poor management: As manifested in the basic management practices such as the issue of inadequate accounting standards, controls and improper management of resources as well as poor manpower.
- Infrastructural Challenges etc
The Way Out!
- Infrastructure, especially power and roads should be given serious attention by government.
- Government, particularly at the state and local government levels should revive existing industrial estates, or in the absence of any, construct new industrial estates with infrastructural facilities to serve as operational hub of SMEs.
- In addition to addressing the infrastructural deficits, government should tackle the high cost of doing business in Nigeria. Issues of multiple taxation, difficulties in registering/incorporating business, obtaining certificate of occupancy/governor’s consent in respect of landed property, and satisfying other government regulatory requirements should be given the needed attention.
- The guidelines for accessing FG credit facilities should be reviewed and made less rigorous. State Government should equally designed structure for credit for SMEs to boast the economic activities in the various states.
- Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) should strive to build the entrepreneurship and corporate management capacity of SMEs. An effective corporate governance plan for SMEs will guarantee effective management of these enterprises and ensure their productivity.
The SMEs are the veritable instrument of economic development of an economy; their contributions to the economy include: substantial local capital formation; promotion of investment, innovation and technology; employment generation; driving healthy market completion adriving healthy market completion among others.
In all, if the challenges are adequately addressed, SMEs will perform the catalytic role in the economic revival and sustaining the Nigerian Economy.
Other activities at the event including the induction of twelve nee engineers and award or excellence to distinguished personalities who have contributed immensely to the development of the branch and the state.
Engr Dr Augustus Oluyemi Oke, Rector, OSCOTECH who was the founding secretary of the Branch from 1996 to 2000 was honourrd for his numerous contributions and innovations at the Branch.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), a non-profit and non-governmental organization whose objective is to promote the advancement of engineering education, research and practice in all its ramifications, with a view to maintaining and enhancing the professional capabilities of its members so as to better equip them to fulfill the needs of the profession for the good of the public and the nation at large have organized this lecture. Ilesa Branch of the society was inaugurated in 1993.