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IC-BEC 2015: PHCCIMA Boss Harps On Prioritization Of SME Development As Panacea To Innovation & Economic Revival

By Anderson Hart
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Prioritizing development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, (SME) has been identified as a critical step to promoting revival and innovation in Nigeria revival inclusive economic growth that will contribute to our country’s Gross Domestic Products.

Engr. Emeka Unachukwu, President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce made this assertion while making a presentation as key speaker at the 5thInternational Christian Business Exhibition and Conference, IC-BEC 2015 held at the Atrium hall in Port Harcourt. He emphasized the need for government to examine the role of SMEs and entrepreneurs as a premise to generating increases in national income, creating employment and promoting innovation over long term.

Speaking on the Theme: “SME’s, The Drivers of Economic Revival and Innovations in Nigeria”, he said governments effort in transforming SME’s has been commendable with efforts in setting up relevant agencies, developing entrepreneurship based policies for economic growth and setting up of intervention funding.

However, he said there is need to do more to fully realize SME’s potentials and help them overcome barriers like, access to finance, access to market, cultural inhibitions, human capital development among others.

Listing facts supporting SME’s as the true Drivers of Economic Revival and Innovations in Nigeria the PHCCIMA helmsman explained that SME’s contribute more than 50% of our Gross Domestic Products, contributes more than 65% of employment in high income countries and 70-90% in low income countries. He also disclosed that SME’s contribute more than 70% in export earnings in developing countries and acts as catalysts for private sector development, making significant impact on Invention & Innovation and is been established as major drivers of technology and productivity.

Unachukwu who defined innovation as the process by which entrepreneurs convert opportunities into marketable ideas, Identified four types of innovation which includes; Inventions: discovery of new products, services or process; Extension: use of new or different application of an already existing product, service, or process; Duplication: which is a creative replication of an existing concept and Synthesis involving combination of existing concepts and factors into a new formulation or use. At the end of the presentation there was staked consensus that SME’s development and entrepreneurship support are panacea to innovation and economic revival in.

Earlier on, the President and Founder of the Market Place Apostles Empowerment Foundation Mr. Uche Onochie had said the capacity of the Nation to positively compete in the global SME’s market place depends on its ability to introduce innovations and employ the relevant machinery to stimulate SME’s growth in Nigeria.

Onochie observed that Japan’s economic revolution was powered by the SME economy and recommended greater investment in the informal sector, while lauding the State Government for its efforts in making the state an investor’s haven.

Special guest of honour and Rivers state governor, Chief Nyesome Ezenwo Wike represented by his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo declared the conference and exhibition open. In her remark she said the State Government was committed to ensuring conducive environment for investors and business operators to thrive, noting that with the gains of the collaborative efforts with security agents, the State is being repositioned as the economic hub of Africa.

The Governor assured that his Administration would keep its promise to be prudent in the management of resources by upholding the tenet of transparency and accountability to the people, adding that the Wike led government is accountable and sensitive to the desire of the people and shall ensure that every penny of the State is used to improve the welfare of Rivers people.

He expressed commitment by the State Government to collaborate with “Market place Apostles Empowerment Foundation” in providing necessary economic incentives to boost private sector driven economy in the State.