Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated Nigeria’s determination to give more support to the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Osinbajo gave the assurance at the inauguration of 2019 GEM MSMEs Expo and Conference in Abuja.
Represented by Mr Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Osinbajo said that the country could come out of economic recession due to the support that MSMEs received.
According to him, the government interventions geared toward supporting the growth of MSMEs has also contributed to Nigeria’s 131st position from 146 in 2018.
Nigeria moved up 15 places in the 2020 World Bank’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business.
The World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI), ranked Nigeria 131 out of 190 countries.
He said “government has a pivotal role to play in promoting enterprises and beyond this we will ensure that the appropriate legal framework is in place for MSMEs to thrive”.
In her remarks, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum said that the scheme would support local production of goods and services in the country.
According to her, apart from supporting local production, the GEM scheme will further assist the 107 beneficiaries to produce goods for export.
She, however, said that effective communication channel and access to raw materials were critical for the benficiaries to succeed.
Some of the beneficiaries said that providing necessary infrastructure like power would guarantee the success of the scheme.
Mr Joel Adeola, a footwear producer, said that six million naira grant from the scheme had given him a boost in his production.
“I was able to acquire machines to improve on the manufacturing.
“This has given me a facelift but we need regular exhibitions to enable us display our products,” Adeola said.
He urged Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods as a means of encouraging local and standard products.
Similarly, Mr Nero Oghnaovo, shirt manufacturer commended the Federal Government for the initiative and said that apart from funding, “we were trained on how to keep our books”.
“That way we planned even before the grants reached us.
“MSMEs will flourish in the country, it will also create jobs for many as well as engage youths in meaningful ventures,” Oghnaovo said.
GEM, a World Bank-funded project being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has contributed to the diversification of the Nigerian economy by supporting sectors that have high growth potential and create massive employment.
The project supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises operating in five high potential sectors of the economy, namely: ICT, entertainment, tourism, hospitality, light manufacturing, and construction.