The chairman of National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Ondo State, Great Sheyi Akintunde, has said that some business people do not need money from the government but knowledge that will add value to their business. Excerpts:
May we know you officially?
I am Great Sheyi Akintunde, the State Chairman of NASSI Ondo State.
What is this summit all about?
This summit was packaged and put together, such that members can access opportunities that are available to small scale industries or the industrialists for the development of small businesses around Nigeria.
And this is simple because we have seen that there are many opportunities that are available in terms of raw materials, finances, education, training and many more, which many of our members are not accessing.
And the workshop was put together to ensure that everybody has access to those facilities that they would use to develop their industries.
On the other hand, we are looking at challenges and what are the solutions to such challenges. What can we do to ameliorate those challenges that are available in some of our SMEs sector?
Sometimes, they assume you need money, and the truth is that it is not money that you really need. You need more understanding, you need more innovation, and you need more knowledge of your project.
And once you can add some other technology to it, you make the money that you need. That is the essence of the programme.
How are we sure that at the end of the day that the resolutions reached here will not go under the carpet?
The issue is this, policy making is one, and implementation is another thing. The major thing we are driving out here is to be able to have knowledge first. Even the scripture says that my people perish because of lack of knowledge.
What you don’t know, you don’t know! Many of the MDAs that have been speaking since we started this programme are agencies that many of our people really don’t even know.
And, now you know that such a problem can be solved, or has ever been solved through so, so agency.
For instance, someone who did not know that the Bank of Industry (BOI) can give them money has now known, they can now pursue. Someone who did not know that they can have access to some other programmes through SMEDAN can now go along with it.
You are hearing of Presidential Order 5 that we were talking about the other time. Many of our people did not know that anything like that was happening. So it is not only the policy, it is much more what you know that you can access. Many people will go in different directions. Several opportunities have been laid before them.
Some people will need money, they will go to financial institutions, some will not even need money they need understanding, they need knowledge. Now the raw materials research and development council is addressing a group, now, some of them require equipment. It is not money, they have their money, they have their money but they want a particular machine, so through raw materials they can access the machine.
Some don’t even need the equipment, they need some particular materials that this agency has ever worked upon, and so they go to them. Other people will go to other places, so everybody will be able to have leverage on what they have learnt from this place, and move to such an agency that will assist them. Before you know it, it is going to be a high powered boom to Nigeria MSMEs.
This programme, several people have benefited from it.
What is going to be the major take home message?
The major take home message is that everything that everybody has learnt, they should go and implement it. They should go and look for how they can access it. Most of the time the government will not bring their policy, or bring their ideas into your room. You look for it.
But before you look for it, you must be able to know It exist. And now that they know that this thing exists, they can easily go there an
But before you look for it, you must be able to know It exist. And now that they know that this thing exists, they can easily go there and access it from those agencies, from federal parastatals and state governments.