By Tobias Lengnan Dapam Abuja
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has organized a capacity building workshop for the Federation of Informal Workers Organization of Nigeria (FIWON) in Kaduna state.
Speaking yesterday at the programme titled; ‘Transition from the informal to the formal economy’, SMEDAN Director General, Dikko Umaru Radda, said the capacity building programme was designed to deliver tailored capacity development to members of FIWON to help improve their general and functional management capacity.
“This is to bring the challenges of the informal micro and small enterprises to the front burner. Over the years the informal economy has been alienated and neglected. This monumental neglect of the informal sector as stimulus for socio-economic development has contributed to the economic imbalance that bedeviled the country.”
Represented by the Director, Strategic Partnership and Liaison Department of SMEDAN, Dr. Friday Okpara, said that the government has realized the importance of the sector as a catalyst for the growth, productivity and competitiveness of the economy of the country.
“Not only are they the seedbed of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction. They have been recognized as the critical breeding and nurturing grounds for domestic entrepreneurial capacities, technical skills, technological innovativeness and managerial competencies for the development of a vibrant and productive economy.”
He said the informal sector still faces challenges despite the recognition of their significant roles, adding that developing the issues in to the main stream of the economy require plan and strategy to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency.
Other measures to help ensure its effectiveness include; “the impact of government policies and interventions, the self-propelling dynamism of the sector and the nature of linkages between the informal and the formal sector”.
The Director General further said that adequate and appropriate mobilization and channelization of funds to existing and potential operators in the sector and change of policies to ensure tax payment and registration will help curb some of the challenges beclouding the sector.
“We need to design and promote measures that protect the operators of the sector and expand existing poverty reduction and employment generation schemes to include them. Also, we need to build capacity of the sector and make them relevant in decision making and institution building in the country.”