The survival of the 21st century Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, (MSME) has been said to largely depend on the adoption and adaptation of digital technologies, hence, the call on entrepreneurs by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to embrace it in order to increase productivity and profitability of their businesses.
Kashifu Inuwa, NITDA’s Director General, expressed this view as a keynote speaker at the 10th edition of Abuja Enterprise Agency’s Business 360 Clinics with the theme “Technology Utilisation and Innovation: Its Effect on SME Profitability and Productivity.
Inuwa who was represented by Acting National Coordinator, Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation, (ONDI), Mr Yakubu Musa, said the effective utilisation of technology by SMEs will result in improved efficiency, and invariably lead to higher productivity. So, productivity increases when SMEs focuses on progress, rather than perfection.
While maintaining the significant impact on the economic survival of the nation if technology is embraced Inuwa said, “Technology utilisation exerts a significant impact on the economic survival of nations, particularly, in today’s high-technology market where technological innovations are rapid and disruptive. This has become the gains derived from the adoption and adaptation of existing technologies while also investing in the creation of new technologies to ensure sustained growth in Nigeria’s SMEs.
Inuwa noted that SME remains the drivers of global economic growth, as they play a major role in the economies of all the countries in the world by their contribution to national economic growth and employment. According to him, SMEs contribute greatly to job creation and overall economic growth.
He informed the participants that NITDA undertakes several collaborative initiatives and programmes that are positively impacting on Nigeria’s SME. He listed some of the collaborations to include partnership with Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), on Digital Marketing for SMEs, Gender Techpreneurship Workshop for Women, partnership with the AEA on Digital Innovation Training for 300 secondary school students in the Federal Capital Territory, and many more.
Earlier in his welcome address, Malam Shehu Abdulquadir,the AEA Chief Executive Officer, described the theme as very apt, because it hinged on technology adaptation towards the profitability of SMEs as a result ofthe outbreak of COVID-19.
He stated further that the programme was aimed at supporting the recovery of SMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that, supporting SMEs after the pandemic would help them gain their traction back.
He revealed that the Agency has disbursed N200 million to 850 SMEs in Abuja and by next month, it is expected to disburse other tranches of 3.5 million USD to over 2,500 SMEs.
He said beneficiaries of the first tranches have retired the grant disbursed by the Agency from the World Bank, while assuring that “we are going to get more people from diverse stakeholders across all the six councils in the FCT to benefit from it.