Access to funds: UNIDO introduces COMFAR app for SMEs

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation’s (UNIDO)’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) said it is set to equip Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria with its Computer Model for Feasibility Analysis and Reporting (COMFAR) tools and methodologies for project appraisal.

Chief Technical Adviser, UNIDO-ITPO, Mr. Stanislaw Pigon, said that lack of access to funds was not the only factor hindering the growth of the SME sector, but that operators’ inability to present a proper accounting system was a major issue.

COMFAR is a software that facilitates short and long-term analyses of financial and economic consequences for industrial and non-industrial projects.

The innovation, which is accompanied by manuals, teaching materials and interlinked software for project identification and preparation, also offers specialised modules on Clean Development Mechanism and on Environmental Management Accounting, among others.

Pigon said, “with the app, SME operators can prepare their financial appraisals in few hours after they have downloaded the application online either on their laptop computers or smartphones. COMFAR, which is already available in 19 languages, will expand its product offer to include more specialised versions that are compliant with the latest International Accounting Standards and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

“UNIDO is set to train trade groups and organised private sector on the development of a trainers’ certification scheme and the establishment of national and regional training hubs. We will also create a centre of excellence that will work with financial institutions and regulatory bodies. Our objective is to train the trainers as they are expected to train others across the country.”

The chief technical adviser, who said the training would be extended to operators across the six regions in Nigeria, added that the workshop was introduced to help the country meet future challenges connected to its growing population.

“The United Nations projected that the country’s population would increase to 200 million in two years and most of these people are entrepreneurs. If we train them now, it will affect the economy positively, especially when the population increases further,” he said.



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