ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment Report) – The Federal Government plays a pivotal role in the promotion of entrepreneurship through various interventions to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other programmes.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (Prof) disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Growth and Employment (GEM) EXPO and Conference for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which held lately in Abuja.
Speaking through the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, the Vice President commented that Nigeria was able to come out of recession and has moved 39 points up in the World Bank ease of doing business ranking in the last five years as a result of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government of which the promotion of MSMEs is a component.
“One of the cardinal focuses of the Plan is to grow the economy and create jobs through the development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMES). The Government has developed several programmes along this line to promote the MSMEs, and prominent among them is the MSME Clinics and shared facilities for production,” he revealed.
“MSMEs Clinics bring all relevant agencies of government, both Federal and State together in a one-stop-shop where MSMEs could access all the regulatory agencies under one roof, thereby saving time and resources. Since inception, the Clinic has achieved huge success with over 400,000 MSME participants and 24 States hosting it. About 300,000 new business names has been registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at reduced 50% price of N5,000 from the normal N10,000.”
Yemi Osinbajo maintained that under the shared facilities for MSMEs, about 37 clusters have been planned across the nation with the aim of providing opportunities for MSMEs to walk into a fully equipped cluster-specific facility to use for end-to-end development of their products.
While informing that the Federal Government has identified a minimum of one cluster per State and will partner with Regulatory agencies to ensure that there are no regulatory issues after production, he noted that three clusters are to be launched soon, comprising the Benue Yam Market, Anambra Shoe Cluster, and the Lagos Fashion Cluster. He emphasized thar for increased access to finance, the Federal Government had an agreement with the Bank of Industry where MSMEs could access as much as N3m loan at a single digit rate and long tenure. He added that they will be enabled as well to partner with commercial banks to ensure increased loans to MSMEs devoid of heavy requirements.
He pledged that government would continue to play a significant role in the promotion and development of entrepreneurship through policy support and interventions.
In his address earlier, the Minister of Stateearlier for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Yalwaji Katagum (Amb) noted that the GEM project was designed to diversify the Nigerian economy from oil to non-oil by boosting the sectors that have potentials for economic growth. According to her, the GEM project is proof of how home-grown MSMEs intervention strategies could compliment government’s policies on employment and wealth creation.
Katagun noted that between 2016 and 2019, the GEM project had registered about 100,000 MSMEs, of which 21,000 were supported by the GEM project, whilst about 1,700 received grants. She observed that the Project gave support to such sectors as Information and Communications Technology, Entertainment, Hospitality, Light Manufacturing and Construction, adding that the objective of the project was to increase growth and employment in the participating firms.
The GEM project is a World Bank initiative under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment which is at promoting the growth of MSMEs in Nigeria to create jobs.