An entrepreneur, Mr Muyideen Ibrahim, has urged the Federal Government to formulate effective policies that would encourage and keep Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the country in business.
Ibrahim, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, said that ensuring effective policies should be part of agenda setting for President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the next four years.
He also urged the government to enforce the local content implementation in SMEs as way to encourage local manufacturers, adding that it would drive the economy to a greater height.
Ibrahim, who is the Chief Executive Officer of BAMIB Resources and Investments Company Ltd (BRIC), said that government should encourage all its agencies and parastatals to patronise locally produced goods, noting that would encourage local manufacturers to do more.
According to him, government should also place technical ban on goods that could be readily produced in the country.
“I honestly think that the government should do the needful as it was done in the agricultural sector for all products. This will encourage more people to venture into small scale manufacturing.
“There is need for government to also implement Executive Orders 3 and 5 to the letter.
“All the industrial estates should be resuscitated and made to function maximally or optimally,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said: “Government should as a matter of fact do more since it is an established fact that SMEs propel the economy of any nation, and focusing on them will eventually move the country forward in all ramifications.
“These include job creation, employment opportunities, creative tendencies and contributions to the Gross Domestic Products among others.
“Areas that should be addressed are funding, provision of infrastructure such as good roads, constant power supply etc.”
Ibrahim, whose company manufactures pencils, urged government to make available incubation centers in all local government areas of the country, adding that such should be under the purview of National Board for Technology Incubation, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
He said that government needed to be serious in setting up the this incubation centres across the states to ease SMEs business environment.
“If entrepreneurs are housed in clusters inside the various Incubation Centres, production of goods and services will become cheaper and they will be able to compete favourably with their Chinese counterparts with respect to pricing.
“Funding is also very key; the government should make funds available at single digit interest. Not more than five per cent with at least 18 months Moratorium.
“Aside from the foregoing, there ought to be business consultants who will be mentoring entrepreneurs,’’ Ibrahim added.