The Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Olawale Fasanya, has lamented that between 2017 to 2021 alone, over two million businesses in Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (nMSMEs) subsection died.
He explained that it led to pushing more than six million Nigerians into the unemployment market.
According to him, insecurity largely caused the death of the businesses that denied farmers access to their farms, adding that inadequate access to affordable funds, high cost of doing business, inflation, and lack of access to local, regional and global markets, among others, were also factors.
He spoke through Prof. Fisher Yinka of the Partnership and Coordination Department of the agency at the opening ceremony of the cluster empowerment programme on shea butter, organised by the agency in collaboration with the Niger State Government, held in Minna, the state capital, Mr Fasanya explained that the cluster empowerment initiative was aimed at reinvigorating the rural enterprises and mainstreamed them into the formal sector to cushion the effects of the economic downturn on nMSMEs in the country.
Fatima Wushishi, the Director-General, Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Council, stated the state produces 196,000 tons of shea butter annually of the 500,000 tons produced annually in West Africa, lamenting that the shea butter businesses had not been properly harnessed in the country.