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Minister of Trade and Investment,   Olusegun Aganga,


The Federal Government is set to improve the Small and Growing Businesses’ access to both local and international market markets, in its drive to boost the growth and development of the sector.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this during the Market Access Interactive Session organised by the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-African University in collaboration with Etisalat Nigeria, in Abuja.
Aganga said: “One of the major challenges that have curtailed the growth of operators of SGBs in Nigeria is access to competitive markets both locally, regionally and globally and several deliberate interventions in the past have not had any significant and sustainable impact.
“Therefore, a new impetus must be generated to expand the market horizon of the SBGs in Nigeria,” he added.
He noted the deliberate usage of SGBs as opposed to SMEs, saying, “Please note the deliberate use of SGBs as opposed to SMEs. This is because for SMEs, the mentality, from now on, has to change from ‘just starting’, to starting and growing businesses. This event is one of those new strategies for confronting this fundamental challenge.”
According to him, the theme of the interactive session, ‘Facilitating Market Access for Small and Growing Businesses’ is aimed at keying the SGBs into the value chain of large enterprises for the purpose of empowering and strengthening them to be in the best position to create employment, generate wealth and reduce poverty in Nigeria.
“Specifically, the session is aimed at creating market access for credible SGBs in Nigeria, bridging the gap between Large Enterprises and SGBs, fostering networking and partnership opportunities, enabling local content development and participation in various sectors of the Nigerian economy by SGBs, and creating a platform for structured networking between SBGs, among others,” the minister noted.
He further said that the strategy for job creation in most developed economies was based on the SME sector, adding that the FG had therefore developed a new strategy, policy and programmes document, which was still in the consultation process.
Aganga explained that the event was a platform expected to bring together SGBs and LEs for the purpose of networking, exchanging ideas, starting relationships and creating opportunities for mutual benefits, among others. “The significance of SGBs for growth, productivity and competitiveness of the economies of developing countries is unquestionable,” he stressed.
He added that, with the interactive session, Nigeria had reached another milestone in the collective effort at achieving a conducive environment for SGBs to operate profitably and sustainably.
According to the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Alhaji Umar Nadada, the programme would give a platform for match-making and outsourcing of SMEs in the country.
He explained that every aspect of SME was an area that would make Nigeria a peaceful and developed country. “Interlocking, which is the purpose of this event is the best way to achieve a greater result in the SME sector,” Nadada said.
He urged other service providers to take advantage of the opportunity in order to fully develop networking among the SMEs.

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Source – Thisday


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