Federal Government, Monday, said it has mapped out strategies to create 3.5 million jobs across the country through the development of the micro, small and medium enterprise, MSME, sector, just as it kicked off the National Enterprise Development Programme, NEDEP.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said NEDEP had been developed with the objective of harnessing the opportunities in the MSME sector to drive inclusive economic growth through skills training and development, job creation and wealth generation.
The minister, who spoke during the first stakeholders’ meeting on NEDEP, also added that the Federal Government would set up an MSME Council, comprising the Federal, state and local governments to streamline and harmonise all MSME development activities across the country to achieve maximum impact.
He said: “If we are going to develop our economy and turn our quantity advantage into productive advantage, one of the most important sectors that we have to focus on is the MSME sector.”
“Despite the little support the MSME sector has received over the years, the sector currently contributes to about 75 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and employs more than 45 percent of our people.
“Even developed economies rely heavily on MSMEs for job creation, wealth generation and inclusive economic growth. NEDEP is an initiative spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and its three parastatals.