SMEs advocate participation in FG’s policymaking processes

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The Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), on Tuesday, emphasised the need for full participation and representation in the Federal Government’s decision and policymaking processes.

The National President, Dr Femi Egbesola, made the assertion against the backdrop of the launch of the association’s movement tagged: “Movement from Growth and Sustainability of Small Business in Nigeria.”

According to him, Nigeria’s economy can only thrive and grow if government practises continuous Public Private Partnership/Dialogue (PPP/PPD) with major stakeholders in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) industry.

He said that the economy would gain a lot, going forward, if SMEs stakeholders were duly represented in the policies on small business matters.

Speaking on the Federal Government/Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stimulus package for SMEs, Egbesola noted that the impact would be greater if the right individuals were involved.

Referring to an intensive research carried out by the association on SMEs multifaceted challenges, Egbesola said that though government policies were impactful, the SMEs performance varied from the choices of government policies.

“Specifically, the findings indicate that government policy had positive influence on business growth of SMEs, if done in collaboration with the relevant SMEs stakeholders.

“This means that any increase on development and growth of SMEs sector will be triggered if there are right government policies in place.

“Furthermore, the coefficient of determination reveals that government policy had a moderate effect on business growth and is also responsible for 53 per cent variance in business growth of SMEs.

“Also, the research revealed that PPP and PPD are crucial for effective development and implementation of initiatives that advance stakeholders inclusion and inclusive growth,” Egbesola said.

He, however, stressed the need for government and the private sector to play a joint role in enabling a secure business operating environment.

He added, “Furthermore, the report shows that government-led initiatives are key to positive growth, accordingly; 61 per cent of SMEs surveyed recognised the great potential of PPP and PPD.

“While 63 per cent think private sector initiatives and partnerships will benefit businesses and markets in which they operate.

“Government must, therefore, work closely with SMEs and others to advance SME inclusion into the digital economy through tailor-made digitalisation strategies, cutting edge technologies, insights and policy advise,” he noted.

Egbesola recommended that the Federal Government should enact and implement laws, regulations and policies that would ink institutional development to entrepreneurial growth and survival.