Prioritising the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) has been identified as a critical step to promoting innovation in Nigeria.
The President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Emeka Unachukwu, made this assertion while making a presentation as key speaker at the 5th International Christian Business Exhibition and Conference 2015 held in Port Harcourt.
He emphasised the need for government to examine the role of SMEs and entrepreneurs as a premise to generating increases in national income, creating employment and promoting innovation over long term.
Speaking on the Theme: “SME’s, The Drivers of Economic Revival and Innovations in Nigeria,” Mr. Unachukwu said governments effort in transforming SME’s has been commendable with efforts in setting up relevant agencies, developing entrepreneurship based policies for economic growth and setting up of intervention funding.
However, he said there is need to do more to fully realise SME’s potentials and help them overcome barriers such as access to finance, access to market, cultural inhibitions, human capital development among others.
Listing facts supporting SME’s as the true Drivers of Economic Revival and Innovations in Nigeria the PHCCIMA helmsman explained that SME’s contribute more than 50% of our Gross Domestic Products, contributes more than 65% of employment in high income countries and 70-90% in low income countries. He also disclosed that SME’s contribute more than 70% in export earnings in developing countries and acts as catalysts for private sector development, making significant impact on Invention & Innovation and is been established as major drivers of technology and productivity.
Earlier on, the President and Founder of the Market Place Apostles Empowerment Foundation Uche Onochie had said the capacity of the nation to positively compete in the global SME’s market place depends on its ability to introduce innovations and employ the relevant machinery to stimulate SME’s growth in Nigeria.
Special guest of honour and Rivers state governor, Nyesome Wike, represented by his deputy, Ipalibo Banigo declared the conference and exhibition open.
In her remark Mrs. Banigo said the State Government was committed to ensuring conducive environment for investors and business operators to thrive.