Monday, 15 December 2014

How SMEs can boost job creation – ICAN president

The President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Chidi Ajaegbu, says government at all levels need to promote an enabling environment for the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.

He said this would help to improve the economic fortunes of the country, noting that the advanced economies of the West relied on SMEs to reduce unemployment.

Ajaegbu spoke in Lagos during the second edition of the institute’s ‘Forum for Firms.’

He said, “Globally every developed country had, at one point or the other, relied on the Small and Medium Enterprises. Even as we speak today, 60 per cent of the employment created in the West (advanced economies) come from the SME sector.

“The multinationals of today started as small enterprises. Companies such as Sony, Toshiba, Samsung and Microsoft started as one-man business. The SME sector is a critical nerve of economic development. So, everybody should do whatever is possible to encourage that sector of the economy.”

The need to promote the growth of the SMEs, according to the ICAN president, has made the institute to organise the forum which is aimed at providing SMEs with a platforms for capacity building in financial reporting, auditing and quality control, among others.

Ajaegbu also said the meeting would serve as a strategy for enhancing the technical capability of the SMEs.

Underscoring the importance of the forum to the SMEs growth, he explained, “It is not that banks do not want to fund SMEs. SME operators need to be encouraged to keep proper accounting records. That is part of this forum. Every bank wants business, they want profit – nobody wants to lose money.

“And without proper record keeping, proper assurance services and attestation of those financial statements by qualified chartered accountants that are licensed to practice from our institute, the banks are unable to ascertain the viability of those SMEs.”

The ICAN leader submitted that the government had no business funding the SMEs.

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