The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, has hinted of plans by the Federal Government to put in place a N75 billion intervention fund to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in response to current economic challenges in the country.
The minister stated this at the opening of the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair (AITF) in Abuja, last Thursday.
Uzoka-Anite, who was represented at the event by the Director of Commodity and Export in the ministry, Mr. Kaura Irimiya, said the fund, would be disbursed in March 2024 to strengthen the manufacturing sector.
The minister said that the federal government would also provide small grants to MSMEs in each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
She said the government has announced a plan to support small businesses and startups in Nigeria in response to the current challenges.
Uzoka-Anite said: “We intend to spend N75 billion by March 2024 to strengthen the manufacturing sector.
“We also intend to provide small grants to micro businesses in each to the 774 local governments of the federation.
“We have also earmarked a fund of N75 billion that will be used to support up to 100,000 start-ups and MSMEs at single digital interest rates repayable over 36 pp months.
“Last week, we launched the National Technology Export (NATEP) programme, in partnership with Microsoft.
“And earlier this year we launched the over $600 million Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) program, in partnership with African Development Bank and other partners.”
Meanwhile, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says that digitalisation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) could increase Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $53 billion.
Kashifu Abdullahi, director-general, NITDA, spoke recently at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) digital transformation centre in Lagos.
Quoting recent research, he said any MSME that transformed digitally could increase its revenue by 26 percent and reduce cost by 22 percent.
Abdullahi added that the digital transformation of MSMEs would help grow the nation’s economy.
“Statistical research in 2018 showed that digitally transformed enterprises contributed $13.5 trillion to the global GDP, and it is projected that in 2023, it will reach $53.3 trillion, which is more than 50 percent of the global GDP,” he said.
“Therefore, if we in Nigeria can digitally transform our MSMEs, it could add 26 percent to GDP or to the revenue of the MSMEs.
“Today, MSMEs contribute 43 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP which is about $205 billion. Twenty-six per cent of this means digitisation of our MSMEs can increase our GDP by $53 billion.”
The NITDA boss said the federal government is committed to digitally transforming the economy through a seven-point strategic roadmap and action plan.
He said NITDA has many regulations to protect the market, enable innovation, and improve service delivery.
“NITDA wants to achieve 90 percent digital literacy by 2030. We want every Nigerian to be able to use digital devices to access digital services,” he said.
“Every country needs to field in-country skills and build its digital offering, so NITDA started the initiative of training one million developers in 2022.
“So far, we have trained 219,000 Nigerians on different aspects of technology.
“On digital literacy, NITDA has trained more than three million Nigerians through various channels.”
The NITFA boss said the DTC Nigeria was an initiative funded by the German government and the European Union, but implemented by GIZ with NITDA as the implementing partner.