The Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), have harped on the need for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to adhere strictly to international standards to be competitive at the global market.
The director – general, SMEDAN, Dikko Radda, said the ability of SMEs to compete in domestic and global markets was a key determinant for growth and job creation, noting that the main obstacle before them in international trade was linked to compliance to different regulations and standards applied to products and services.
Radda , who disclosed this in Lagos after a breakfast meeting organised by NACC, tagged: “Setting New Standards in Sustainable SME Sector Development in Nigeria,” said the current administration was deliberately addressing all contemporary development issues confronting SMEs, towards energising the sub-sector for job creation, wealth creation, and poverty alleviation.
The SMEDAN boss said products that complied with international standards have a competitive edge over others that did not, saying that consumers already know the difference.
He noted that quality products have much more credibility, thus building long-lasting positive reputation, which proves vital when moving into international markets.
He said, “ISO standards can also help small businesses increase their efficiency by helping to drive down costs and save valuable time and money.
“MSMEs can benefit from the expert knowledge contained in standards and are less likely to make costly mistakes that could spell the difference between success and failure.”
He said to ensure a seamless development of Nigeria’s MSMEs, all the challenges confronting the sub sector must be deliberately and conscientiously addressed.
Also speaking, the president, NACC, Otunba Oluwatoyin Komolafe, explained that job creation, growth, advancement as well as development of SMEs have proved essential to the growth and development of the economies of many countries, particularly the developed and some developing nations like United States of America, China, and India.
He pointed out that the advantages of SMEs to any country were obvious, which include, contribution to the economy in terms of increase in output of goods and services, generation of jobs, particularly in the rapidly growing service sector.
They also offer a medium for shrinking disparities in income, and developing a collection of skilled and semi-skilled workforce as a foundation for imminent industrial expansion.