Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has said that the nation’s small and medium scale enterprises can only benefit from export windows by developing products that have globally competitive quality.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr. Dikko Radda, said this in Aba, the Commercial hub of Abia State on Tuesday.
Radda was speaking during a three-day knowledge-sharing session of the Enterprise Network Initiative (ENI) programme held for small and medium scale businesses in Abia.
He said: “Export windows are in abundance for our MSMEs but we are yet to benefit maximally from these windows due to the poor quality of our products.
“ECOWAS market, other African countries, Asian, European and American markets are yearning for our products.
“The only way we can overcome the present state of the economy is through diversification to increase non-oil exports.
“The quality of our products should be enhanced and the ease of doing business improved.”
Radda also advised that Nigerian businesses should upgrade in labeling and packaging in order to explore the huge foreign markets that abound.
He urged the business owners to “challenge conventional thinking, develop new insights and perspectives, understand the impact of emerging strategies and technologies for capacity building in order to enter the global stage.”
Radda urged them to seek to understand trade and investment opportunities, trade regulation and business practices, customs procedures and market trends to grow their businesses.
The SMEDAN boss was represented by Dr. Friday Okpara, the Director, Policy Partnership and Coordination arm of SMEDAN.
In their goodwill messages, Mrs Ada Ozongwu, President, Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs, said women form the largest chunk of small and medium scale business owners.
She said that more women needed to move from the informal to the formal business sector in order to benefit from available business opportunities.
Mr Winner Anayo, the South East Director, Nigerian Shippers Council, said the lack of the desire to formalise businesses by their owners in Nigeria was affecting the economy negatively.
He, therefore urged them to formalise their businesses to ensure that they benefitted from what government had to offer, in terms of funding and capacity building.
Mr Godswill Isinguzo, who representative Mr Henry Nduka, DG, Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), said that entrepreneurs in Aba were shying away from joining the chamber for fear of paying taxes.
He said there were many benefits they stood to derive from joining the chamber, including registering their businesses through the chamber with CAC.