Nigeria partners UNIDO to set up MSME training academy

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) has partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to establish a formal MSME training academy in Nigeria. This academy aims to provide training and support to small business operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in order to enhance their knowledge and skills, and ultimately contribute to the country’s economic growth.

To develop the framework for this training academy, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), and UNIDO will collaborate to design an implementation plan.

During a meeting with the UNIDO delegation in Abuja, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, initiated the plan to enhance the capacity of MSME operators through strategic training.

The motivation behind this initiative stems from the alarming rate of small business failures in Nigeria, which can be attributed to a lack of necessary knowledge to navigate the country’s market realities.

Dr. Uzoka-Anite emphasized the need to address market challenges faced by MSMEs and expressed interest in exploring successful models from countries like China and India. By adopting and adapting these models, Nigeria aims to strengthen its own SME and industrial sectors, ultimately improving the success rate of startups and fostering economic growth.

The participants at the academy will be chosen by SMEDAN, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Nigerian Association of Small Medium Enterprises (NASME), and various UN women groups in different units of the MSME sector, as explained in the statement.

The Minister proposed the establishment of a training school, a business finishing school, where SMEs can undergo a three-month program covering accounting, marketing, and other essential areas. Upon completion, they will receive a certificate and become eligible for credit access.

To ensure the success of the training school, partnerships will be formed with existing schools like the Lagos Business School and universities. A consortium of partners, including SMEDAN, the Bank of Industry, and other organizations, will be involved in designing the curriculum and providing funding.

The Minister expressed confidence that through this initiative, well-trained MSMEs will emerge, capable of leading the country towards real economic growth.

During the discussion, Jean Bakole emphasized the significant role UNIDO will play in the project. UNIDO has previously supported numerous SMEs using various tools and strategies. Similar to their approach in identifying and training sanitiser manufacturers during the pandemic, UNIDO will employ a similar strategy and provide support to the selected MSMEs for a year.

The UNIDO delegation present at the meeting included Mr. Reuben Bamidele, Mr. Osuji Otu, Mr. Oluyomi Laniyan, Ms. Helen Iji, and Ms. Emem Umana.

Leave a Reply