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UK to help fast track development of SMEs in Nigeria

by Business News Report

The UK Trade and Investment Association, has expressed its readiness to assist in accelerating the development of Nigeria’s Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

Ms Judy Melifonwu, a Senior Trade Development Manager of the association, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja. Melifonwu said that the association had already launched a project tagged: “UK Nigeria 100 Project’’ which was aimed at funding and supporting the SMEs in line with the Federal Government’s transformation agenda.

She said that the project was being funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office with support from the Ministries of Finance, Culture and Tourism, and Industry, Trade and Investment as well SMEDAN.

“All our stakeholders are focused on the creative sector because it is a huge market, growing so rapidly and the funds for the project will be used to support small businesses to grow. Hopefully as they grow, they can come back and invest in this sector so that the ones beneath them can grow also,’’ she said. Melifonwu said that opportunities abound in Nigeria and expressed optimism that if properly harnessed, the country would attract the attention of a lot of investors and international businesses.

“There is so much opportunity in Nigeria, it is unbelievable, there is a lot of work to be done but together we can make a difference.

“This project can be implemented here in Nigeria by setting up businesses that can help. This can make Nigeria not only a desirable place to live, but to also attract the attention of investors and international businesses to set up offices and mass production facilities,’’ she said. Melifonwu stated that a similar project had been implemented in Kenya with a great deal of success, adding that it could also be successful in Nigeria which generated a large portion of its income from tourism.

According to her, the development of SMEs in Nigeria will also go a long way in empowering the youth as well as boost the nation’s economy. 

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