Tony Elumelu, The Chairman, UBA Group and Heirs Holdings, Wednesday advised the Nigeria’s Federal Government to tackle the issue of policy somersaults to enhance the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Elumelu gave the advice at the 24th Annual Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) Development Lecture held in Lagos, as he gave a lecture themed: “Galvalasing SMEs Toward Inclusive Development’’.
The continuous crumbling of SMEs as result of policy summersault, according to the UBA Chairman, would add to the increased of the poverty level.
As represented by Adim Jibunoh, the Chief Executive Officer, Transitional Corporation of Nigeria (TRANSCORP), Elumelu said the unstable foreign exchange regime on indigenous businesses, tax, and environmental policies had influenced the SMEs, and so the growth and development of SMEs would galvanise resources for wealth to sustain the soaring population forecast expected by 2050.
Also, Prof. Pat Utomi, a renowned political economist, said that Nigeria had refused to give pre-eminence to SMEs.
According to him, only the big company owners dine with the policymakers, thereby influencing the policies on SMEs.
“I want to bring to the knowledge of the Federal Government that oil industry had recruited less than 10,000 Nigerians, while an SMEs is recruiting one to hundred citizens,’’ he said.
Utomi said that the country needed to imbibe SMEs survival culture and good organisation governance, particularly for the sustenance of Nigeria’s population expected by 2050.
He also advised SMEs to start caring for the wellbeing of people as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
Utomi also said that the nation’s agricultural system was not making impact as 70 percent of the produce was lost due to lack of reservation centres or parks.
“We have started constructing an Integrated Produce City in Edo, where a complete chain of agricultural system will be actualised and managed by farm management companies,’’ he said.