UI Holds Symposium for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

By: Aduwo Ayodele

The new Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences of the University of Ibadan has on Wednesday, 20th of March, 2024 organised its first ever symposium.

Themed “Theory and Practice: Sustainable Marketing Strategies for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in a Turbulent Business Environment” the event had in attendance members of the Motor Vehicle Artisan Association; Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air-conditioner Practitioners; Nigeria Association of Patent Medicine Dealers; Nigeria Autotechnicians Association and the Nigerian Union of Tailors.

Also in attendance were members of MSME Forum, Oyo State; National Association of Nigerian Traders; Association of Handsets Hard and Software Repairers of Nigeria; Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria; as well as students of Marketing from the University of Ibadan and The Polytechnic Ibadan, among others.

The Acting Head of Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, Dr O. A. Adeniyi, explained that the symposium was organized to foster relationship between the ideas, known as ‘Town’ and ‘Gown’.

Dr. Adeniyi noted that the theme was chosen in reflection of the huge contribution of the private sector appreciably to both the GDP and the economy at large.

The Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, Professor A. O. Folawewo, represented by Professor Akanni Lawanson, noted that the theme was very important, as the discussion would help participants to match profitability with morality, as well as sustain their business in a turbulent economy.

The Chief Consultant to the Oyo State Government on SMEs, Mr Dayo Bello, at the event spoke about the ‘Ise Dotun’ policy of the Oyo State Government, noting that the symposium was key to its execution.

The Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Investment, Industry and Cooperatives, Honourable Otunba Ademola Ojo who was Chairman at the symposium stated that the theme of the symposium was in line with the sustainable economic agenda of His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State.

The Commissioner emphasized that both the ‘Town and the Gown’ needed to collaborate to formulate realistic policies to meet the challenges of the Nigerian economy.

The guest speakers at the event were Miss Temi Igure, Regional Manager Airtel Home Broadband Business; Mr Taofik Odukoya, Chairman Vanguard Pharmacy Ltd.; and Mrs Oluwaremilekun Onaeko, the Principal/ Managing Partner of Remi Onaeko and Co.

Miss Temi Igure spoke on customer service as obtainable in practice, while also debunking a few marketing myths.

She advised the participants to have good succession plans, as employers of labour must learn to train and retrain their staff.

Mr. Odukoya noted that “SMEs are the true drivers of the Nigerian economy because they contribute 84% of employment opportunities”.

He described the present Nigerian economy as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, while charging the academia and the operators of the SMEs to create a sustainable pathway through business.

He however, stated that Nigerians themselves are the ones who could make the country great again.

Mrs. Onaeko in her own words advised participants to always recognise their staff as assets rather than liabilities and to always motivate them to put in their best.

She further advised business owners to ensure excellent service delivery in a bid to create value for their customers and to run their businesses on principle.

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