FG seeks state govt.’s partnership to boost MSMEs
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday assured the Nigerians of the Federal Government’s readiness to work with states governments to create better life for the people and promote businesses through its social intervention programmes.
Osinbajo gave the assurance at the day-two of the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinic in Onitsha, Anambra.
He said the MSMEs clinic was designed in 2017 to bring regulatory agencies to help solve problems encountered by small businesses.
“MSMEs are small but together they account for up to 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 20 per cent of the Nigerian labour force.
“It appears that MSMEs have been neglected over the years in the country. This is partly as a result of competing priorities,” he said.
Osinbajo said the MSMEs clinic was a further demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the lives of people.
He said that to foster continuity after the clinic, at least five states governments had set up One Stop-Shops that would bring all the relevant agencies together in one place to enable small businesses have access to services with relative ease.
While recognising Onitsha and Nnewi as a manufacturing and industrial hub in the country, he said the Federal Government was willing to support the state government to create more clusters.
The Vice President disclosed that the Federal Government had already selected 11, 039 new entrants for the N-Power scheme in Anambra in the second batch.
“The Federal Government in collaboration with the state government is already feeding over 103,000 school children, engaging 1,004 cooks in several schools across the state.
“The N-Power programme is creating opportunities for young graduates to be engaged. We are working to see that each beneficiary of N-Power stands alone in the future through entrepreneurial skills.
“We equally have 3,877 beneficiaries of Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in the state alone,” Osinbajo said.
In his remarks, Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra appealed to the Federal Government to support the state with a clear development and sustainable industrial plan.
Obiano urged the Federal Government to design an industrial master plan that would unlock the ‘can do spirit’ of the people of the state to contribute significantly to the industrial quest of the country.
“We need the critical support of the Federal Government to bring out the fighting spirit of our people.
“We have designed a new plan to which we ask the Federal Government to help us to nurture them to maturity for the benefit of our people,” the governor said.
Obiano said the plan included the construction of a technology park in the three senatorial zones of the state and the establishment of industrial clusters in the three zones for fabrication of industrial machines.
He said it also included the construction of textile and leather products industrial cluster in Ogbunike.
“We need the assistance of the Federal Government to set up an incubation centre and support academy that will provide critical knowledge and support in the area of financial literacy, marketing, branding, book keeping as well as research and development,” he added.
He reiterated the vision of the state to be the first choice investment destination and hub for economic and commercial activity.
The governor said the provision of adequate security in the state had resulted in attracting more than N5 billion worth investment into the state.
He said the state Small Business Agency (ASBA) was set up to create a hub for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that would enhance the sustainable economic development of the state.
“Since it came into existence, it saw to the effective disbursement of the one billion Naira retail lending facility for SMEs.
“The agency also saw to the disbursement of one billion Naira micro credit levy to market women, farmers, women cooperatives, artisans and youth entrepreneurs.
“In all, ASBA has provided credit facilities to 7,000 MSMEs, created 10, 000 direct jobs and created 35, 000 indirect jobs in the past four years,” the governor said.