ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment Report) – Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (Prof) has disclosed that Nigeria has moved 39 points up in the World Bank ease of doing business ranking in the last five years as a result of all the various interventions of Government to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and other developmental programmes.
The President who was represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Growth and Employment (GEM) EXPO and Conference for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) held in Abuja on Tuesday October 29, 2019 noted that Nigeria was able to come out of recession 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 stressed.
According to the Vice President, MSME 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.
He further stated that since inception, the Clinic had achieved huge success with over 400,000 MSME participants and 24 States hosting it. He noted that about 300,000 new business names had been registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at reduced 50% price of N5,000 from the normal N10,000.
Yemi Osinbajo explained that under the Shared Facilities for MSMEs about 37 Clusters had been planned across the nation to provide opportunities for MSMEs to walk into a fully equipped cluster-specific facility for end-to-end production of their merchandise.
“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. Three clusters are to be launched soon: the Benue Yam Market, Anambra Shoe Cluster and the Lagos Fashion Cluster,” he revealed.
“For increased access to finance, the Federal Government has agreement with the Bank of Industry to enable MSMEs to access as much as N3m loan at a single digit rate and long tenure, as well as partnering with commercial banks to ensure increased loans to MSMEs devoid of heavy requirements. The Government would continue to play a significant role in the promotion and development of entrepreneurship through policy support and interventions.”
In delivering the opening address earlier, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Yalwaji Katagum (Amb) inferred 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. She intensified that between 2016 and 2019, the GEM project had registered about 100,000 MSMEs with 21,000 being supported by the GEM project and about 1,700 receiving grants.
She observed that the Project has offered support to such sectors as Information and Communications Technology, Entertainment, Hospitality, Light Manufacturing and Construction, implying that the objective of the project was to increase the growth and employment of participating firms.