Olawale Fasanya, director-general of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), says over two million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) collapsed in five years.
Mr Fasanya lamented that the issues had pushed more than six million Nigerians into the unemployment market between 2017 to 2021 alone.
He said insecurity was largely responsible for the death of the businesses that denied farmers access to their farms, adding that inadequate access to affordable funds, high cost of doing business, inflation, and lack of access to local, regional and global markets, among others, were also factors.
According to DailyPost, the DG who was represented by Prof. Fisher Yinka, Partnership and Coordination Department, SMEDAN, spoke at the opening ceremony of the cluster empowerment programme on shea butter, organised by the agency in collaboration with the Niger State Government, held in Minna, the state capital.
Mr Fasanya explained that the cluster empowerment initiative was aimed at reinvigorating rural enterprises and mainstreaming them into the formal sector to cushion the effects of the economic downturn on nMSMEs in the country.
Fatima Wushishi, the director-general, Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Council, stated the state produces 196,000 tons of shea butter annually of the 500,000 tons produced annually in West Africa, lamenting that the shea butter businesses had not been properly harnessed in the country.