By G9ija

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) on Thursday night in Abuja, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITScope Consulting Limited to launch the i-MSME portal.

The Director General (DG) of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Radda, said the i-SMSE portal would foster economic growth and development of all MSMEs in Nigeria when deployed.

Radda urged Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to leverage on the portal to grow their businesses.

Describing the i-MSME portal as a real time integrated ICT platform, the DG noted that it would provide a digital solution to most of the problems faced by MSMEs in Nigeria.

“There are lots of things that are put in place today to ensure that the MSMEs can use a digital platform to enhance their businesses and add value to their productions.

“For you to grow your business you need a bit of competition, and this will provide a platform to enable MSMEs compete globally.

“We are seeing a lot of improvements on the use of technology.

“Since COVID-19 started, a lot of MSMEs have embraced the use of technology in the sale of their products, purchase of their equipment and in getting customers and this has helped in the growth and development of MSMEs.

“With this platform in place, I think we will have the end to end progress in the use of technology and digital economy,’’ Radda said.

He asserted that the portal would aid the ongoing mass registration of MSMEs in the country by SMEDAN.

“SMEDAN is carrying out a mass registration exercise for the last three years and we will continue on the platform.

“The essence of the mass registration is to ensure the MSMEs have the details of where they operate, what kind of services they render, what they produce and what location they are.

“This is so that we can have and source for data and anybody who requires data on any of those MSMEs can get it,’’ Radda said.

The DG expressed the agency’s commitment to strengthen efforts to sensitise stakeholders to key into the programme.

Earlier, Mr Ajibola Edwards, Executive Director, ITScope Consulting Limited, said that the partnership proposed to create the first MSME socio-economic digital solutions ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa.

According to Edwards, it will set off a holistic multiplier effect for Gross Domestic Product  growth and drive the engine of the informal sector of Nigeria.

“The direct connection between SMEDAN’s programmes, ITScope Consulting and the i-MSME, will allow MSMEs to quickly access funds and address other challenges encountered by the sector.

“This includes real time access to local and regional markets, logistics issues, accounting and tax issues as well as reducing high cost of doing business among others,’’ he said.