Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of economic growth in any country and their ability to leverage technology drives efficiency and sustain stability.
This was the submission of the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, at the Abuja Enterprise Agency Entrepreneurial Complex in a keynote he delivered on; ‘Leveraging on Technology and Innovation for Enterprise Productivity’ at the 8th edition of Business 360 Clinics by the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA).
“SMEs provide cornerstones on which economic growth and stability of any country solidly depends. According to World Bank Report on finances, SMEs were pronounced to represent 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment globally,” said Abdullahi while stressing that innovation and entrepreneurship remained essential for long-term economic gains and prosperity.
According to the NITDA boss quoting a report by PriceWaterHouse Coopers, SMEs contribute 48% of the National GDP and account for 96% and 84% of businesses and employment respectively.
“SMEs are therefore key contributors to employment, economic and export growth to the Nigerian economy” he said.
Technology is a driving force to achieving success in business; increase revenue, reduce operational cost, customer service improvement, employee experience improvement and constant innovations all of which are important for enterprise productivity.
NITDA remains committed to supporting SMEs, said Abdullahi and stressed that NITDA through one of its subsidiaries have supported over 200 local startups that leverage on technology as tool for entrepreneurship.
His words: “You may be aware that, as part of our 20th Anniversary celebration, we launched and unveiled a four-year Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021 – 2024). One of the pillars of this roadmap, Pillar 4 – Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has initiatives targeted at identifying and prioritizing areas of support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in addition to strengthening the Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs) ecosystem – through the implementation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT-REAP).”
He said NITDA’s continuous commitment to supporting SMEs underscores the development of the Nigerian Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Start up Policy (NDIESP) which is in line with the Nigerian Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) aimed at boosting the economic growth and diversification of the country.
His words: “As an agency that is focused on issuing regulations that will positively impact the society and not stifle innovation or growth, we are keen on collaborating with relevant stakeholders to co-create regulations that will enable SMEs leverage digital technologies to contribute meaningfully towards economic prosperity”.