Agriculture sector accounts for 3,300,778 of Nigeria’s micro-enterprise businesses according to a report recently published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The reports also disclosed that the number represents 8.92 per cent of the nation’s 36,994,578 microenterprises surveyed during the period. The survey was conducted in conjunction with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and it covered Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). According to the report, the 2013 National MSME Survey covered business enterprises in Nigeria employing below 200 persons (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). For micro enterprises (employing 1-9 persons) data were canvassed through the National Integrated Survey of Household (NISH) Schedule.
Also rural and urban areas where small (employing 10-49 persons) and medium (employing 50-199 persons) enterprises are located were covered through the National Integrated Survey of Establishment (NISE) Module. The report titled, “SEMEDAN and National Bureau of Statistics Collaborate Survey: Selected Findings 2013”, ranked Agriculture 3rd on the list after Wholesale and Retail and Manufacturing sectors, which control 54.67 and 13.21 per cent respectively. Specifically, the country had a total of 20,224,627 Wholesale and Retail micro-enterprises followed by the Manufacturing sector which held 4,887,395 micro-enterprises across the states in 2013. Although the report did not categorise Agriculture in terms of sub-sectors, reports by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) show that the sector is dominated by cash crops, livestock and fishery.
The report also noted that the survey was necessitated by the growing recognition of the role that MSMEs play as economic agents not only in terms of job creation, but in driving innovation and competition.“There is growing recognition of the important role Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play in economic development. They play a pivotal role through several pathways that go beyond job creation. They are growth supporting sectors that not only contribute significantly to improve living standards, but also bring substantial local capital formation and are responsible for driving innovation and competition in developing economies.
“Governments at all levels have undertaken initiatives to promote the growth and development of MSMEs. The general perspective is that MSMEs are seen as accelerating the attainment of broad socio-economic objectives, including poverty reduction, employment generation, wealth creation, among others,” NBS stated in the study. Other highlights of the study include the role of Accommodation and Food Services in economic development through the micro-enterprise businesses.
This sector has 2,039,517 micro-enterprises or 5.51 per cent of the 36.9 million recorded. Transport and Storage had 1,760,932 micro-enterprises or 4.76 per cent, while micro-enterprises in the Construction sector captured in the study was 731,303 representing 1.98 per cent.Micro-enterprise businesses in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Sector represent 1.06 per cent with a total of 390,609 units, while Information and Communication micro-enterprises captured in the study represent 0.91 per cent.