N75 Billion Insufficient to Propel SME Development In Nigeria

1 min read

In a bid to bolster the Macro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, the Federal Government has earmarked N75 billion for disbursement. However, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has raised concerns about the potential impact of this allocation on SMEs’ growth.

Mr. Gabriel Idahosa, President of LCCI, emphasised in an interview with New Telegraph in Lagos that while the proposed amount may appear substantial on paper, it is insufficient to catalyse significant progress in the SME landscape. With an estimated 48 million SMEs nationwide, Idahosa underscored the limited reach of the N75 billion fund.

Highlighting the pivotal role SMEs play in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Idahosa stressed that any government intervention fund should aim to benefit a substantial portion of the SME sector. He noted that allocating funds without achieving a significant impact on SMEs’ ability to create jobs would diminish the overall effectiveness of the initiative.

Idahosa outlined, “If you spread N75 billion across 48 million SMEs across 36 states and the FCT, the impact will be minimal.” He emphasised the need for intervention schemes to target a larger percentage of SMEs to generate tangible results, suggesting that covering at least five to ten percent of the SME population would be essential for meaningful impact.

Idahosa however cautioned that without addressing the scale of SMEs reached by the intervention fund, the initiative risks being merely symbolic rather than transformative for the Nigerian economy.