The Standard Organization of Nigeria SON has announced plans to involve 5,000 Small Medium Enterprises SMEs through capacity building by 2015, an initiative to bring about eight million jobs into the country, from that sector of the economy, says the Director General of the organization, Dr. Joseph Odumodu.
Odumodu made these statements while addressing pressmen at an event organized to seek way forward on how to boost trade among African countries.
He said, “In the next three years, our target is to work with 5,000 SMEs in Nigeria, this is because in Nigeria today, there are over 17 million SMEs and if we are able to get a critical mass involved, by building their capacities on ISO 90001 and ISO 22000 Food Safety Management, we would have contributed significantly to job creation.
“Imagine if half of those SMEs are able to employ one person per company, we would have created an additional eight million jobs in Nigeria.”
Based on collaborations, he said that the organization have started working with the Commonwealth Secretariat on 250 SMEs.
According to him, “we are aware that SMEs are the engine of growth in Asian economies, especially in the Chinese economy. So if we are able to mainstream our SMEs to be the driver of change, then we would be on the right track to developing our economy.
“We have talked too much about SMEs; we now want to infuse some action. It is standards that create the line or a level playing field.
So with standards in Africa, we would be able to trade with each other. If I want to sell groundnut in Nigeria, I should be able to sell them to South Africa or if I want to buy manufacture red products in Egypt.
It is imperative for us to begin to trade with each other and I believe that once we create African economy, we are on the way to leveling the challenges we have in meeting up with other continents.”