Worried about the high rate at which small and medium enterprises (SMEs) particularly start-ups, collapse in Nigeria despite mentorships, the federal government has pledged to design policies that will create enabling environment for small businesses to grow and be sustained.
Special Assistant to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ife Adebayo, who dropped the hint during an interview with media source in Lagos recently, said SMEs remained the bedrock for technology advancement in the country, but decried the rate at which start-up businesses spring up and collapse, despite mentorships from various investors.
He however said the federal government had shown a great deal of interest in technology development in the country as exhibited by Osinbajo through the inauguration of various ICT projects across the country, adding that government would continue to formulate policies that would sustain SME businesses in the country.
Giving reasons why SMEs and entrepreneurs fail, Adebayo said: “There are so many raisons why entrepreneurs fail, in spite of mentorships, which cut across lack of adequate finance, basic skills to sustain businesses among others. Government is however making it possible for entrepreneurs to succeed in business, by putting in place, measures that will ensure easy ways of registering their businesses online and creating the enabling environment for them to do business with ease.
“Government is putting in place policies that will ensure that the propensity of Nigerian businesses to fail will be greatly reduced.”
According to him, “We have wealth of experienced people in Nigeria that SMEs and entrepreneurs could look up to for mentorship and the opportunities are there. So mentorship is important to support businesses from collapsing.”
Highlighting the federal government’s interventions to grow technology across Nigeria, Adebayo said: “The present government has shown so much commitment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development across the country and this can be clearly seen in the passion that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has for technology development among Nigerian youths and start-ups. The Vice President has continually taken the message of the President on technology development to the people of Nigeria. The government had said that it is interested in developing the country technologically and it has always shown that in different fora where ICT projects were commissioned in the country.
“Government has made funding for SMEs through the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Central Bank of Nigeria has funds for SMEs development and a great chunk of those funds have been released under appropriate supervision.”
In the area of policy, infrastructure and access to finance, I will gladly say that this government has lived up to the expectations of the people, Adebayo added.
Commending Facebook and Google for their initiatives in assisting government in developing the ICT sector, Adebayo said the recent launch of NG-Hub in Yaba, Lagos by Facebook and the recent launch of Google Impact Challenge (GIC) initiative designed to empower Nigerians with ICT skills development, remained exciting and encouraging.
“It is part of government initiative for the private sector to take the lead in ensuring that we provide the right technology platforms for entrepreneurs to grow and we encourage Nigerian youths and entrepreneurs to take good advantage of the Facebook NG-Hub and the Google Impact Challenge,” Adebayo said.
“As the Nigerian economy continues to emerge stronger, I see these private sector led initiatives impacting more on the Nigerian youths to develop themselves and the Nigerian economy,” Adebayo stressed.