Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria are set to benefit from mentorship, support services and connections to financial institutions thanks to the new Nigerian Business Development Services (NBDS}, network set up by the Federal Government.
The Daily Independent reports that the project which cost N39.6 billion ($200 million) will bring together a network of private sector business development service providers to offer the services.
Speaking at the launch Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said that the initiative marked another milestone in the current administration’s determination to reposition the MSME sector as the major driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria.
He said, “Today marks another milestone in the development of the MSME sector in the country.
“Over the course of this administration, we have championed the course of MSMEs and we have made them the centre of economic policy; we have treated them as a distinct sector and we have developed policies and programmes to enable them grow and contribute significantly to GDP growth.
“Today, we are launching the Nigerian Business Development Services Network, a network of private sector business development service providers that will work with MSMEs across the country to mentor them, provide support services and enable linkages with financial institutions.”
Aganga revealed that the last study on MSMEs showed access to funding was the biggest challenge for MSMEs for Nigerians with approximately 84.6 per cent of SMEs turning to personal savings and from friends and families for capital.