Monday, July 22, 2024

Fostering Economic Growth in Nigeria: The Crucial Role of SMEs and the Need for Government Intervention


Supporting SMEs for Economic Growth: Insights from COK Best’s MD

In a bid to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to attract more investors to Nigeria, Lady Vera Afam-Aguiyi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of COK Best Limited, Abuja, has presented a compelling argument for government intervention in key areas. During the unveiling of the COK Mall and Lounge in Kubwa, a burgeoning satellite city in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, she shared insights on how strategic support from the Federal Government could significantly uplift SMEs, spur job creation, and enhance the nation’s economic landscape.

The innovative COK Mall, which has brought employment to 65 individuals, showcases state-of-the-art facilities, including solar-powered energy solutions and fitness facilities for the local populace. This initiative not only elevates the business landscape in Kubwa but also sets an exemplary standard for eco-friendly operations in Nigeria’s retail sector.

Lady Afam-Aguiyi pinpointed two critical areas where government support could have an immediate and impactful difference: energy tariffs and security.

Energy Support for SMEs

“To keep businesses afloat means to protect and create jobs,” she remarked, highlighting the challenges businesses face regarding energy costs. Despite COK Best’s decision to utilize solar energy extensively, the fluctuating and often high cost of energy remains a hurdle. A tailored, discounted energy tariff for small scale businesses could encourage more entrepreneurs to launch and sustain businesses, leading to job creation and economic vibrancy. This approach towards energy could serve as a strong incentive for both local and international investors, heralding a new era of industrial and commercial growth.

Enhancing Security

Security is the bedrock of investment confidence. The assurance of a secure environment is paramount for attracting investment, both from Nigerians in the diaspora and international investors. The prevailing skepticism about the security situation in Nigeria has been a significant deterrent to potential investors. Improving security measures would not only boost investor confidence but also stimulate economic activities across various sectors.

Lady Afam-Aguiyi didn’t stop at identifying problems; she also pointed out the pivotal role of infrastructure in economic development. “Road networks within cities and the provision of street lights can motivate individuals to invest in areas they might otherwise overlook,” she explained. The establishment of robust infrastructure and the provision of essential utilities are fundamental steps towards creating an enabling environment for businesses and investors alike.

In her concluding remarks, Lady Afam-Aguiyi underscored the importance of government involvement in providing key infrastructures and facilities as a strategic move towards job creation and economic stability. The initiative by COK Best to establish a mall in Kubwa was driven by a desire to create employment opportunities and to serve the wider community that resides in the outskirts of Abuja, demonstrating a commitment to societal upliftment and economic empowerment.

As SMEs continue to play a critical role in Nigeria’s economy, the recommendations from seasoned entrepreneurs like Lady Afam-Aguiyi offer a roadmap that can lead to increased support for these businesses, foster job creation, and ultimately contribute to the country’s economic prosperity.

Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience covering the dynamic world of business and finance. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories behind the headlines, Alex has become a respected voice in the industry. Before joining our business blog, Alex reported for major financial news outlets, where they developed a reputation for insightful analysis and compelling storytelling. Alex's work is driven by a commitment to provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Whether it's breaking down complex economic trends or highlighting emerging business opportunities, Alex's writing is accessible, informative, and always engaging.

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