Kwara SMEs is below 0% – Expert

...says poor govt policy hampered sector

By Mike Adeyemi

An Ilorin bases business expert, Prince Ayodeji Ajisefini has decried poor performance of Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) in Kwara State, describing it as very bad and diminishing each day.

He stated this during an interview with our reporter in his office on Friday.

According to him, ‘SMEs in the recent time has not move from where it used to be as its about negative in Kwara State.’

“Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) in Kwara has not move from where it used to be. Instead of it to move forward or to remain stagnant, its deprecating each days. And that is the reason for increase in the level of unemployment in the state.

“SMEs in Kwara state is very bad. It is diminishing. It is now below 0. The reason for this decline is an a result of the fact that right people are not getting what they should have,” he said.

The expert added that erratic government policy has been the bane to the progress of sector as there is no accurate database for SMEs in Kwara State.

“The government policy has not been palatable towards the growth of SMEs alongside unstable economy. Another factor is unfavorable business environment. Anywhere these variables exist, no business owner can survive it.

“As the chairman of rice millers in Kwara, I knew how many millers in this state that have closed down. And Kwara happens to be one of the state that plant rice. Recently, they harvested rice and it was moved to another.

“Meaning they are killing unemployment in Kwara and used it to develop another state. The so called anchor borrower took harvested rice from here to other state which means Kwarans are into the direct beneficiaries.”

He further noted that not until we learn to put right peg in the round holes, SMEs in Kwara State will keep declining.

“To analyses what MSME means. The M which is the micro can give half employment to about 10 people. While S gives employment to over 10 people. These two categories are dying in Kwara State.

“Until we learn to put right peg in the round holes, we will not get it right in Kwara. Though the state government is trying it best, but when there is no result, it amount to nothing is done.

“Kwara need experienced not theoretical hander in the helms of government policy. What is killing SMEs is inflationary rate. Economic of scale is affecting micro and small enterprise in Kwara.

“There are some basic thing(s) the state government has to look into. The face of our agricultural practise need to change,” he noted.

Ajisefini however said the way forward toward effective Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) is the Kwara state government to go back to the drawing board and stop given out interest free loans.

“Let us go back to the drawing board. There is no accurate database for SMEs in Kwara. We should come up with proper database. Government should train the applicants before giving out loan.

“Let disabuse giving interest free loan. There won’t be commitment to pay back. And SMEs should be channel to they key sector, and not the other way round,” he suggested.

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