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MSMEs clinics making big impact on economy

Mrs Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment , says the national Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) clinics are making a big impact on Nigeria’s economy.

Katagum spoke with State House correspondents after the first quarter meeting for the partners for MSMEs clinics presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

MSME Clinics were introduced by the Federal Government to bring together key frontline government agencies and stakeholders to interact together with a view of removing impending bottlenecks.

She said that meeting provided the stakeholders an opportunity to look at what had been done in the last year in concrete terms, the challenges and issues surrounding MSMEs.

“In terms of impacting on the economy, we see it in the number of new MSMEs that have come on board; we see it in the number of exports, we see it in the number of new products that are in the market because of course we are talking about local content.

“People are taking our own local materials and making products that are sold in the Nigerian market.

“So, to that extent, there is a big impact; and then of course, a lot of Nigerians are going off the street, starting off a little business.

“From even the person that is making coconut chips and is able to export, to the person that is making garri or any other thing and packaging neatly, getting the NAFDAC registration, getting SON and being able to export.

`So, in those terms, we are seeing the real impact of these MSMEs clinics.’’

She said there were deliberations on how to deliver on President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to take millions of Nigerians out of poverty and create jobs through the MSMEs.

The minister said that no fewer than 16 related agencies attended the meeting and made inputs on how to move forward.

She said that SMEDAN was undertaking mass registration of MSMEs which at the last count were over 40 million.

“We need to have them properly registered so that they have a kind of identity which will enable to access other services.

“NAFDAC, on its part, wants to bring this registration to their doorsteps to assist with the e-registration.

“CAC is trying to bring down the cost of registration; the CBN has a lot of resources for people to access.

“We will emphasis more on publicity so that more Nigerians will be able to know what is available in these agencies.

“Then, we discovered that in lots of resources available, not too much is required of collateral; just a little bit of documentation and if I look around, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is trying to identify products per state that could be queued up for export.

“The Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) is also doing a lot,’’ she said.

She said that so far, 26 MSMEs clinics had been held in different states and would be taken to every state of the federation.

Katagum said that the next clinic would be in Ebonyi on March 5.

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