The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) will review its training curriculum to include entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development toward enhancing the growth of the nation’s SME sub-sector.
The ICAN President, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, made the disclosure at a press briefing on Thursday in Lagos.
Jaiyeola said the institute would create a department for SME advisory services and generally guide SME operators to overcome the challenges of the business environment.
According to him, the decision is part of the recommendations of participants at its just concluded 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference.
“The participants observed that some of the challenges confronting SMEs include poor infrastructure, policy inconsistency, access to finance, access to markets and business support.
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“High level of unskilled labour, under-performing value chain, difficult regulatory environment and multiple taxations.
“The participants, therefore, recommend that the Institute should support SMEs by reviewing its training curriculum to include entrepreneurship and SME development,’’ he said.
Jaiyeola said the conference further recommended that efforts should be made to bridge the nation’s human resource gap, which may widen with the emergence of knowledge-driven 4th Industrial revolution.
“While acknowledging the challenges that technology deficit poses to the activities of SMEs, participants noted the role that digitisation of the informal sector can play in the whole process.’’
The ICAN boss said that technology could be leveraged through communities to identify and select budding entrepreneurs for support; automate and discard manual processes.
To drive the initiatives, he said that ICAN would partner with key private sector players to digitise the informal sectors while a roadmap would be developed for it.
Jaiyeola noted that Agribusiness SMEs remain the greatest hopes for economic growth and development due to its potential for high growth rate in real terms.
“Its growth spans across various segments of agricultural value chains and accounts for about 97 per cent of the agricultural GDP,’’ he said.
He urged the Federal Government to empower agribusiness SMEs to take advantage of the agricultural value chain toward driving the actualisation of government’s diversification agenda.
Jaiyeola also appealed to the government to urgently intervene in infrastructure development, improved incentives and increased allocations for SMEs development.
He noted that if SMEs were supported, they would boost employment, build blocks for large businesses, introduce innovation and contribute to GDP and socio-economic stability.