Post Views: 966 Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday assured players in the nation’s Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) of the Fe...
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday assured players in the nation’s Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) of the Federal Government’s support needed for the sector which is widely acknowledged as a major employer of labour to survive, grow and then contribute more to economic development.
Speaking at the Abuja leg of the MSMEs clinic at the Eagle Square, Abuja, which followed earlier editions in Aba, Ilorin, Sokoto, Jos, Kastina and Calabar, Osinbajo who was obviously elated by what he saw at the various exhibition stands, assured “that whatever it takes to make our country truly where it should be in the comity of nations in Africa and anywhere in the world, we will give it.”
He was also glad that most of the businesses exhibiting their products and services are owned and run by young Nigerians “who believe in this country and who are using Nigerian products, Nigerian crafted machines in many cases, fabricated and who are producing incredible things with what they have.”
Attesting to the fact that Nigeria’s future is in small businesses, medium size businesses doing great things, he stressed government’s commitment to play its role in creating an environment for them to prosper, hence the clinic aimed at developing small businesses quickly.
“We recognise that one of the chief problems that small businesses have is with regulatory agencies; being able to access regulatory agencies and get quick and efficient service from regulatory agencies.
“Secondly, funding is also an important constraint for many of these small businesses.
“So we thought that it would be wise to actually take these regulatory agencies to the small businesses rather than wait for the small businesses to come to the regulatory agencies.
“This interaction can sensitize the regulatory agencies themselves to the problems of small and medium scale enterprises,” the Acting President added.
Happily, he noted a tremendous improvement in the way that the regulatory agencies such as the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and well as the Bank of Industry (to help with financing) whose officials accompany him to the various clinics respond to MSMEs.
Osinbajo recalled two recently signed Executive Orders that would ensure improvements in the business environment for MSMEs by making it easier for them to get approvals without delays and bureaucratic hassles, reducing the time it takes to register companies and get approvals for different types of things that are required in a business.
The other, he continued, is local content which requires government and individuals to patronise local products, thereby creating and retaining jobs in Nigeria, besides saving the nation huge foreign exchange and enhancing expertise.
“By 2018, we expect to be completely self-sufficient in rice production, we are going to do the same for tomatoes; we are going to do the same for several others of our products. In this Executive Order which was signed barely six weeks ago, we are saying that the Federal Government of Nigeria and state governments must patronize locally produced goods.
“So, the first point of call is to patronize locally produced goods. Already the Armed Forces are patronizing those who are making boots and some people who are making fatigues and different kinds of fabrics for the Army. We are going to insist that this should be so in our purchases especially where we have events such as this and where we have state dinners and so on. And it is also our desire that we patronize locally produced clothing as much as we can.”
He applauded the achievements of the Abuja Enterprise Agency which organised the FCT edition of the MSMEs Clinics and the fact “that they are funding some other MSMEs as well, and that they intend to increase this funding which is extremely important and we hope to be able to support what the enterprise agency is doing. I will like to commend the FCT Minister for the excellent work that is going on and to say that we are fully behind you and we will support you in any possible way.”
While also appreciating the state governors who accompanied him for the clinics after a long day at National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to see for yourselves what Nigerians are doing and how well these enterprises are doing, the Acting President restated the Federal Government’s commitment to MSME development through follow ups; and funding those with talents and are creative.