MSMEs call for govt partnership at grassroots
By Damilola Kushimo
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators have disclosed that beyond electricity, government partnership and advanced entrepreneurial trainings are the factors that could boost entrepreneurship at the grassroots.
An entrepreneur, who is into fish farming and smoked fish business in Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, Rasheed Sulaimon, said acquisition of required knowledge is key to success in any business venture, which he said could be got through periodic trainings.
According to him, government should partner with the NGOs or experts in various field to train youths especially who benefit from any of the government’s empowerment funds to equip them with more knowledge before funding their business.
Also speaking on the business challenges in local environments, an artisan, a Shoe Maker along Aiye Bus stop, Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr. Jonn Nsenam Jeremiah, highlighted that one of the challenges embattling entrepreneurship and artisanship, especially shoe is not only unstable power supply but lack of government partnership and sponsorship of several craft training abroad, which he claimed has significantly helped China to develop in recent years.
The shoe maker, who said he has been in the business for over 25 years, emphasised that government is doing little to encourage entrepreneurship and artisanship in the country and that is why people would still prefer Italian shoes to locally made ones which are mostly of the same quality.
“Constant electricity, partnership from government and scholarship on several entrepreneurship skills abroad are what could boost artisanship and entrepreneurship in this country and if at all, this country wants to be developed and wants local entrepreneurs to be encouraged.
“Virtually all Nigerian youths have resorted to the internet, abusing its importance by getting involved in several fraudulent transactions, they don’t believe in entrepreneurship any more. Though, I don’t really blame them, no one likes poverty. But the reality is, shoe making, is a lucrative job but our people would prefer Italian shoes to the locally made ones which are of same qualities.
“I’m sure if the federal government through the grassroots governments can support us, the country will be great like other developed nations. Why I said through the local governments is that most of us, artisans, rarely have time for social media. Like the U-WIN project that was done during Jonathan’s regime. I believe it was meant for all but, only the elites benefitted because most of the local artisans couldn’t get the information on time.
“The LGs know the number of all artisans in their localities, that’s why I’m saying that if the federal government via the local government could put in more to encourage local entrepreneurship and artisanship, our youths’ mentality will change towards being an entrepreneur because by the time they realize that a shoe maker is driving exotic cars, living in mansion, lives a near perfect lifestyle, they would direct their creativity to what they have passion for and everything will be fine. No one likes poverty. Even the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be more encouraging,” he said.
Jeremiah, who noted that he influenced into the craft by a friend, said he has found the craft a passionate profession, saying shoe making is lucrative though, it is stressful and requires hardworking and commitment.
“It is stressful, I only spend 6 hours at home but, I’m committed and remained passionate about the profession and I’m not lazy, that’s why I’ve been able to firmly establish myself,” he concluded.