No fewer than 11 Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) in the South East will each receive N500, 000 Grant and Growth Support from the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
The Director General of SMEDAN, Mr Dikko Radda disclosed this on Tuesday in Enugu during the Capacity Building Programme on Grant and Growth Support for BMOs and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Radda was represented by the South East Regional Director of SMEDAN, Mr Levi Anyikwa.
He said that the grants would be given to them at the end of the workshop.
He said that the aim of the support was to build the capacity of the BMOs to grow their Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He said that the assistance would help them to tackle the common challenges encountered by their members, especially in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) era.
He said that the grants would help the beneficiaries in the areas of achieving standards, meeting regulatory requirements, access to markets and the closure of infrastructure gap for competitiveness.
Radda said that the COVID-19 pandemic presented alarming economic crisis that the world was grappling with.
He said that no fewer than 94 per cent of businesses in Nigeria had been impacted and were seeing disruptions, adding that there was hope that the situation would subside.
“If things do not improve in the short term, these enterprises will have little or no option but to shut up shop and lay off even staff.
“This programme is aimed at strengthening their capacities to reduce these bottlenecks,” Radda said.
In a goodwill message, the Director General, South East Chamber of Commerce, Mr Nduka Awuregu, said that SMEs were faced with serious bottlenecks in the region.
Awuregu said that such bottlenecks had affected the growth of the SMEs.
He said that in spite of the challenges,” we have quality products and the time to register them is now and we need to remove the bottlenecks hindering the growth of the SMEs,” he said.
Awuregu said that SMEs operators in the area had gone beyond the usual sale of raw materials and were currently into processing and value addition.
Earlier, the Deputy Director, Policy, Partnership and Coordination, SMEDAN, Mr Israel Ikyumior, said that the South East contributed no fewer than 60 per cent of the SMEs in the country.
Ikyumior urged the BMOs to foster transparency and good governance in their organisations in order to achieve their set goals.
No fewer than 77 participants drawn from the 11 BMOs in the zone are attending the three days workshop.