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Group photo of DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE (5th left) and the DG SMEDAN, Charles Odii (4th right) alongside members of the management team of both agencies




In a bid to implement the agenda of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR of Reforming the Economy for Sustained Inclusive Growth by accelerating diversification of the nation’s economy, a Memorandum of Understanding highlighting the pivotal role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has been signed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

Recognising SMEs as the backbone of the nation’s economic landscape, the MOU was signed with a primary focus on the growth of SMEs and tackling startup challenges while implementing the Nigeria Startup Act.The MOU was signed by the two organisations, Friday at the corporate headquarters of the SMEDAN agency in Idu, Abuja.

DG NITDA, Kashfu Inuwa CCIE (left), and the DG SMEDAN, Charles Odii (right), signing the MOU at the SMEDAN’s corporate headquarters in Idu, Abuja

The objective of the MOU is to establish a strategic partnership between NITDA and SMEDAN and to ensure that issues relating to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are addressed in implementing the Startup Act.Speaking at the ceremony, the NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE emphasised the critical importance of SMEs and cited their contribution to Nigeria’s economy, where they represent over 90% of businesses.

Underscoring the need for technological innovation to enhance productivity in the sector, Inuwa stated that “when you talk about critical sectors, SMEs are the first and if we want to create prosperity for our country, we should start by digitising SMEs”.

Group photo of DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE (5th left) and the DG SMEDAN, Charles Odii (4th right) alongside members of the management team of both agencies

He further emphasised the necessity of creating a comprehensive database of SMEs to facilitate targeted incentives and foster digital literacy among entrepreneurs.

Inuwa highlighted the transformative potential of technology in expanding market reach and enhancing the productivity of entrepreneurs’ businesses while pointing to successful cases where ICT training programmes organised by NITDA for women have helped them leverage social media platforms, thereby significantly boosting their market presence and efficiency.

“As SMEs, you can use technology to expand your market reach and at NITDA, we have trained women on ICT and they have been able to expand their market reach and productivity using social media platforms.

If we can do this, it will change the SMEs landscape in Nigeria”, he added.The transformative power of technology within Nigeria was proudly exemplified by Inuwa, where he narrated how several SMEs have blossomed from nothing to become billion-dollar organisations.

“In Africa, we have 7 Unicorns and out of them, 5 originated from Nigeria. So, we believe that with technology, we can help all the SMEs to scale up, increase their productivity and create sustainable prosperity for our country”, he asserted.

In his remark, the SMEDAN Director General, Charles Odii stated that the essence of the MOU agreement is to collaborate with NITDA in fulfilling the mandate of the President’s agenda in creating jobs and digitising Nigeria’s economy.

While stating that any business that does not take advantage of digital innovation and services is short-changing itself, Odii noted that if the 40 million small businesses in the country equip themselves with digital processes whereby each small business employs at least 5 people, it will have a significant impact on Nigeria’s economy.

“What we are doing here in addition to sensitising the public on the implementation of the Startup Act is to organise our small businesses where they can use innovative solutions to solve their problems”, he averred.

The signing of the MOU signified a crucial step towards harnessing the power of technology to revolutionise Nigeria’s SME landscape, thereby paving the way for sustainable growth and prosperity.


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