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The dynamic role of small and medium enterprises as engine of growth in developing countries has been recognized as observed by Cook and Nixson (2005), the development of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) should be seen as attempts towards the achievement of a wider economic and socio-economic objective, including poverty alleviation. As stated by Kuteyi (2013), small and medium Enterprise drives their country’s development as they create employment and contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP). In the opinion of Ariyo, (2008); Ayozie and Latinwo (2010) and Muntala et al (2012), there is the greater likelihood that SMEs will utilize labour-intensive technologies thereby reducing unemployment particularly in developing countries and thus have an immediate impact on employment generation.
Small and Medium Enterprises are expected to facilitate the growth and development of human and capital resources towards general economic development and the rural sector in particular. In view of these expected roles from SMEs, the Nigerian government had in the past devised policies and incentives for the development of small and medium scale Enterprises.
To protect SMEs from dumping, the government adopted the use of high tariff rates to discourage importation of some of the industrial goods that could be produced domestically, and in some cases, complete ban on a variety of industrial and agricultural products. To provide funds to small and medium scale enterprises by way of commercial loans, the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRAB) were established. Also established were National Economic agencies to provide loan scheme for SMEs.
In spite of all these efforts by the government, both at federal, state, and local government levels, to ensure the growth of SMEs in Nigeria, people such as Abereijo et al have identified key factors which they claimed were responsible for their perceived failure of SMEs in Nigeria. Against the backdrop of the interest and belief in the SMEs as a catalyst towards the industrialization and economic growth of Nigeria, this study is aimed at determining the quantitative impact of SMEs in Nigeria’s economic growth performance.
In Nigeria, SMEs are beset with a myriad of challenges which are in no small measure affecting their growth. The most pronounced, however, is access to funds and effective infrastructure to operate, especially electricity. As observed by Sacerdoti (2006), even banks with retained liquidity levels in excess of what is required by law have shown reluctance in extending loans to SMEs, especially on long term basis as they are considered highly vulnerable with high credit risk. Small and medium scale Enterprises do not have the muscle to compete with the multinationals in terms of marketing because of what it takes in real terms to market a product. In addition, the amount one needs to produce in order to engage in profitable marketing to break even is not there for the local manufacturers.
SMEs by their very nature are supposed to be the bedrock of the nation’s economy but the operating environment has been very harsh for them to thrive. Currently, most of them can scarcely fund their operations, and the issue of mass or large scale production is ruled out. Some manufacturers have gone under due to unhealthy operating environment occasioned by poor infrastructure, high cost of production, multiple levies and multiplicity of regulatory agencies. In terms of capacity building, very few, of SMEs can afford to attract and retain the right caliber of staff that will take charge of sensitive and high-tech positions in their companies.
In view of the problems confronting SMEs in Nigeria alongside the efforts the government has put in to ensure their growth for them to perform effectively the roles expected of them, this paper is aimed at quantitatively investigating the impact of SMEs on Nigeria’s economic growth performance.
The questions for which answers are sought from this research are as follows: To what extent have SMEs impacted on Nigeria’s economic growth performance,? and To what extent have changes in some policy variables influenced the performance of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.?
The broad objective of this study is to analyze the performance of small and medium scale Enterprises vis a vis Nigeria’s economic growth performance. Specifically, the study shall; Determine the impact of SMEs on Nigeria’s economic growth performance, and Determine the impact of changes in fiscal and monetary policies on the output of SME’s in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The production of goods and services in the most efficient manner has continued to be the only viable and reliable option for development, growth and survival of any economy. SMEs have been fully recognized by government and development experts as the main engine of economic growth and a major factor by extension in promoting the realization of the financial systems strategy.
This is because the development of this sub-sector is an essential element in the growth strategy, not only in contributing to improved standard of living; they also bring substantial local capital formation and achieve high level of productivity and capacity.
From a planning stand point, SMEs are increasingly recognized as the principal catalysts for achieving equitable and sustainable industrial diversification and dispersal and in most countries SMEs account for well over half of the total share of employment, sales and value added (Udechukwu, 2005).
This is not surprising because the industrial sector in Nigeria has no significant record of meaningful contribution to economic development since independence in 1960 because it has not experienced any notable growth, traceable to indigenous industrial entrepreneurship (Adewale, 2007).
The Nigerian economy, since the early seventies, has been dependent on oil products as a result of the enormity of revenue generated from oil, very little attention has been paid to proper development of the industrial sector. The reason for the lackluster performance of the industrial sector is mostly associated with the poor attention paid to the promotion and development of the small and medium scale sub-sector, which is accepted worldwide to be the engine of economic growth and the basic foundation for the industrialization process of any nation that desires to experience solid development. This is more so because entrepreneurship development is a critical aspect of skills development and keystone for economic revival and growth.
Furthermore, the vital role of small and medium scale enterprise (SMEs) as the only authentic foundation for accelerated industrialization, growth and development, as witnessed in all the Newly Industrialized Countries of South East Asia, referred to as Asian Tigers, is recognized for its accelerative effect in achieving macro-economic objectives such as full employment, income distribution, development of local technology and stimulation of indigenous entrepreneurship, mitigation of rural-urban migration, support and linkage of the entire industrial sector by training of semi-skilled and non-skilled manpower as well as the manufacturing and supply of spare parts and raw materials to large scale industries.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Several studies have identified financial constraint as the major obstacle to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development in developing countries including Nigeria. For instance, Adelaja (2006) argued that the access to institutional finance has always constituted a pandemic problem for SME development in Nigeria. He recalled that in the past, a number of schemes have been put in place to provide special credit lines/windows for SMEs but this achieved very limited impact.
The primary focus of this study emanates from the fact that small scale enterprises owners do not have sufficient finance to carry on their due to the low saving culture of the people in this part of the world. The reason for this is not far fetch: low level of income basically. While it is an established fact that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises face financial challenges, no research has been conducted to investigate the effect the financial problem on their contribution to economic development. Asaolu et al (2005) and many other authors and researchers have deduced that the financial challenges mar the developmental role of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. But this may not be true especially in the case of Nigeria where the informal sector, which is constituted largely by the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises play a very important role in the development of the nation’s economy. Therefore, this study seeks to evaluate the impact of government funding in the promotion and development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
1.3 OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY
From what was earlier said on the introduction and background study this research will ensure a possible way of diversifying solutions to GIFT TRUST DEAL i.e
i. Industrialization and economic growth the company (Gift trust deal)
ii. Rate of survival
iii. Contribution to Industrial employment
iv. Contribution to Industrial Production
v. Little or no training and development for their staff
vi. Poor documentations of policy, strategy, financials, plans, info, systems
vii Low entrepreneurial skills, inadequate educational or technical background
viii Lack of adequate financial record keeping
ix. Poor Capital structure, i.e. low capitalization
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to critically examine the effect of government funding on the promotion and development of SMEs in Nigeria. Specific objectives of the study are:
1. To appraise financial challenges of Small and Medium Scale
Enterprises in Nigeria.
2. To appraise the effectiveness of various SME agencies set up by the federal government to promote activities of SMEs in Nigeria i.e Gift Trust Deal.
3. To examine the effect of government funding on Small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.
4. To recommend various strategies that can be adopted by the government to promote and develop SMEs effectively.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In-order to achieve the objectives of the study, the following research questions will guide the study:
1. What financial challenges are faced by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria?
2. How effective are various SME agencies set up by the federal government to promote activities of SMEs in Nigeria?
3. What impact government funding had on Small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria?
4. What strategies can be adopted by the government to promote and develop SMEs effectively?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1. Ho: Government
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