‘Small scale enterprises can drive the economy’

// Biz | ‘Small scale enterprises can drive the economy’
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By GAB EJUWA

What is the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the  economy and how can their prospects be boosted? Mr. Eric Idogun, a public administrator, in an attempt to answer the question, speaks  about SMEs important role.  According to Idogun, the managing director of Pepperoni Foods Ltd, who is also involved in the oil servicing sector, large-scale businesses are not the main drivers  of economic activity but rather small and medium-sized enterprises. Idogun  says  unemployment has been a concern in Nigeria , but SMEs have the capacity to employ a large labor force.
The main challenges to establishing SMEs, according to Idogun, are their inability to secure financing and weak capacities to facilitate governmental procedures, which would  expand their work.

What should be  the role of government regarding  small and medium scale enterprises?
The role of government should cover the provision of power, security, infrastructure, credit opportunities, to mention a few. These would create an enabling environment for businesses to grow and would build confidence in our economy for  indigenous investors. Our people are scared of taking  risk and losing   their investments. However, they would readily partner with a foreign firm to set up shops in Nigeria.

As the governor of Bayelsa State, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan already had a national outlook which was evidenced in his detribalized policies. He made sure that every tourism oriented business in Bayelsa State benefited from his policies irrespective of tribe or religion.

Apart from Bayelsa State under Jonathan, have you benefitted from others?
We have benefitted more from Bayelsa State than other areas of operation. That is not to say we have not got assistance from other state governments. In Bayelsa, we got a loan, the enabling environment, good  people, peace and security, etc. I’m grateful to the people of the state and government for their support.

What is your advice to state governors and agencies?
One of the primary reasons for the high level of unemployment in the country is the absence of viable small and medium scale enterprises. Many businesses have gone awry  along the way and our graduates now go looking for employment in Shell, Elf, Chevron,  etc.

The strength of any economy lies in the value of its small and medium scale industries as this guarantees national growth, thereby bringing down inflation. Government should invest in the real sector. It should provide education so we can have skilled hands at all levels and also create an enabling environment for young businesses to grow. Government, through its agencies, should partner with individuals and firms to create industries and job opportunities for the unemployed.

The Goodluck Jonathan Hospitality Scheme in  Bayelsa State, which I benefitted from in 2006, will help the Nigerian state. Other states should take a cue from this and grow similar industry niches in their local environment.

The role of the Bank of Industry (BOI) should be clearly spelt out. The policies of the CBN relating to small and medium scale enterprises (SME) should be geared towards encouraging sustainability and growth of the industry. This is one of the most productive sectors in terms of employment generation.

What is your advice to other indigenous investors?

There are a lot of untapped opportunities in the small and medium scale industry in our country. If you have a dream or a vision, then go for it. Get professional advice, plan, come up with actual projections and take the plunge. It is our collective responsibility to grow our economy and make our country better and it truly begins with you.

In your case, how did it start?
Pepperoni Foods started in 2005 in Bayelsa State at NTA/Azikoro Road, Yenagoa as a restaurant. We ran it (mama put) for a couple of months until a friend who was special adviser to the governor informed us of a credit facility programme by the then Dr. Goodluck Jonathan government in Bayelsa State.

The programme was aimed at creating an enabling environment and enhancing economic development as well as boosting the hospitality industry in the state through interest free credit facilities .

Our application for the facility was granted and this gave us the opportunity to upgrade the existing small restaurant  to a standard quick service outlet and to equally open a second but purpose built outlet with a bakery at Opolo in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. We not only  leveraged on the facility provided by the Jonathan-led administration but worked closely with the local tourism industry in Bayelsa State and beyond to become the Pepperoni you know today.

How far have you gone in terms of expansion?
We operate in the food processing industry, particularly indoor and outdoor catering to production of food and food related products. Presently, the catering arm of the business have since branched out into other areas . We now have a fully digitalized photo company, a table water company (Xyno waters), a sewage disposal unit (backward integration) , the production of confectionaries especially bread and cake at commercial level. I’m proud to say here that our Bread is the number one selling brand in Bayelsa State, Port Harcourt and Calabar at the moment. And, of course, we are fully into real estate.

What inspired you to go  into this line of business?
From childhood, I have had a strong inclination for cooking. Although, I hold a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Port Harcourt, my heart remained in the food industry. For a while, I consulted with my friend and mentor in the business at Kingfisher Foods in Port Harcourt before I picked up the courage to take off.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by Disqus
Tagged : Kwara State, London Heathrow Airport, Achebes Body Arrives In Nigeria

Headlines Newsview all

Stella Adadevoh, senior physician consultant infected by Patrick Sawyer, dies

Nigeria on Tuesday recorded the fifth Ebola virus fatality with the death of Dr. Stella Adadevoh, a female consultant physician, in Lagos. Adadevoh, a consultant endocrinologist, ... Full story

Scores of Nigerian soldiers vow not to fight Boko Haram

At least, 40 soldiers in North-Eastern are refusing to fight Islamist Boko Haram militants until they receive better equipment. The BBC reported on Tuesday that one ...

Twerking at 40! Watch Funmi Iyanda Boogie Down At Birthday Bash In London

This is what happens wen you turn 40 but still have the mind and body of a 20something! Media personality Funmi Iyanda clocked the big 4.0 ...

Ebola Virus: Mixed fortunes for Nigeria, 3 new Ebola cases discovered, 4 patients discharged

It was a case of mixed fortunes for the nation, yesterday, in the management of the Ebola Virus Disease as three fresh cases were discovered, ...

Abducted Chibok Girls: Take military action now to rescue our girls, #BringBackOurGirls tells FG

One hundred and twenty days after the Chibok school girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, the BringOurGirls group, yesterday, challenged ...

T.B. Joshua claims Ebola is manufactured by Satan

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) declared in his church service on Sunday 17th August 2014 that the killer ... Full story

Nollywood Actress Genevieve Nnaji Finds Love Again

Good times are here again for Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji as she appears to have finally fallen in love with a mystery guysomewhere. Although we don't ... Full story

Ebola-Infected Doctor Recovers Fully And Discharged Home

Our God Is Indeed Great!!! The first person who contracted the disease has been discharged and is now fit to go home. Just days after a ...

Bishop David Oyedepo Of Winners Chapel Banned From Entering The United Kingdom

Popular pastor, Bishop David Oyedepo has reportedly been banned from entering the United Kingdom. According to an airline alert by the UK Home Office, the well-renowned preacher is ... Full story

US declares Ebola experimental drug 'Nano Silver' a pesticide

Hopes of immediate relief for victims of the Ebola Virus Disease following reports that doses of an experimental drug, nano-silver, had been delivered were dimmed ...

Mercy Johnson - “When my mates were carrying designer bags and taking vacations, I wasn’t”

Mercy Johnson opened up on success and what it takes to get there. She told City People ‘’Success is hard, it’s never easy. It takes more ... Full story

Comment on: ‘Small scale enterprises can drive the economy’

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Genevieve Nnaji join ALS Icebucketwater Challenge

The actress is the latest to join the ice bucket water challenge which supports MDS (Motor Neurone disease).She nominated Psquare and Jude.Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) ...

Pictures: Omotola's Son Celebrates 16th Birthday In Cape Town

Actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde threw a small birthday party for her music producer son, MJ a.k.a Captain E as he turned 16 today, August 20th.The ...

Is Tonto Really A Varsity Graduate With Her Poor English Vocabulary?

It beats my imagination to see that an actress and a song writer that fakes an American ascent in movies could have a poor English ...

Ngozi Ezeonu For Prestigious Chieftaincy Title In Asaba

Veteran actress, Ngozi Ezeonu has been pencilled down for a chieftaincy title. The honour will be bestowed on her by the Igbo Film Forum (IFF) ...

GIVE HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE! Stella Damasus demands Posthumouse Award for late Dr Stella Adadevoh

Yesterday evening,Nigeria recorded first dead Ebola case of a senior consultant physician, Dr Adadevoh.. She was infected by late Liberian-American Ebola victim “Patrick Sawyer”.Stella Damasus, ...

Fashion Police Report: Kcee Is At It Again!

Kcee at Jimmy Jatt's 25th anniversary celebration on August 18th Kcee has managed to top our fashion police report yet again for the second week in ...

Empress Njamah’s Love For Roadside Food

Some years ago, Empress Njamah was one of the hottest actresses in the movie industry in Nigeria, but now, others have taken over from where ...

Why I’m Not Married—Seun Kuti

Son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Seun, has disclosed that he does not see marriage as an institution, which is why he is not yet ...

First Time I Slept With A Woman—Uti Shares Experience

Former winner of one of Africa’s biggest reality television shows, Big Brother Africa, Uti Nwachukwu, has narrated how embarrassed he was when he first slept ...

Sound Sultan ft Duncan Mighty - Luv Language (Official Video)

Sound Sultan ft Duncan Mighty - Luv Language (Official Video) Tweet Do you have a story/gist for publication? Please email it to story@nigeriafilms.com Go To Top Post your comment Subject: Name: Comment:   Disclaimer: ...