Wale Fasanya, the acting director-general of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has stated that the agency is committed to helping genuine small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with exceptional business ideas to thrive.

Fasanya disclosed this while presenting a lecture on ‘Funding Models’ for SMEs in Nigeria on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Duro Kuteyi, the managing director of Spectra Industries Limited held at Ikeja.

The SMEDAN boss admitted that funding is one of the most critical challenges for SMEs, but stated that the agency is committed to helping genuine SMEs who have exceptional business ideas to thrive.

“In SMEDAN, we will continue to push for the development of viable and sustainable funding models for MSME. This can only happen with strong partnership and alliance between government, donors and private sector,” Fasanya said.

Besides, he admonished young Nigerians aspiring to be entrepreneurs not to wait until there is a huge amount of money but instead take the bold step of starting small while having their eyes on the big stage.

Moreover, Fasanya noted that good entrepreneurs should not wait for external funding before pursuing their entrepreneurial initiatives, stressing that the likes of Duro Kuteyi, the managing director of Spectra Industries who started by just putting a pot on a burner to fry plantain chip have ended up having a world-class factory producing globally competitive brands that are today commanding both local and international patronage.

He described Kuteyi as a great dogged entrepreneur who has been consequential in the entrepreneurial landscape of Nigeria stressing that his contribution in terms of knowledge on food processing and manufacturing as well as food security in Nigeria has been commendable.

Duro Kuteyi, who was marking his 70th birthday and 30th anniversary of his company, Spectra Industries Limited called on the federal government to come up with a realistic and sustainable policy that will help SMEs to overcome financing challenges as no nation develops without paying adequate attention to SMEs.

Kuteyi decried the harsh business environment of Nigeria where SME operators are virtually left unprotected by the government, exposed to unfair competition from multinationals, and frustrated by harsh financing terms by banks as well as multiple layers of tax and other sundry charges by various levels of government.

He unfolded the plan of his company to embark on training other SMEs in food processing to broaden local food processing and manufacturing in Nigeria as this will help address the problem of post-harvest losses and make seasonal crops available all the year-round.

The serial entrepreneur called on various levels of government to partner with his company to use food processing in resolving one of the major problems of the country, which is unemployment as well as resolve the issue of food security.

“In actual fact, insecurity and banditry have reached the level we are now because there are many idle hands who if gainfully engaged will not be interested in touting or banditry.

“As the Good Book says, “The Devil finds work for the idle hands or, “The idle mind is the Devil’s workshop,” Kuteyi noted.



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