IBADAN-IN a bid to diversify the Nigerian economy and creating a robust and self-sufficient economy, the Federal Government has moved to step up the tempo in raising the living standards of Nigerians through small and medium scale enterprises, owing to its significant contributions to the national economy.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was in Ibadan yesterday for the official launch of the 17th edition of the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinic reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by providing the necessary financial assistance.
According to him, more than 21,000 MSMEs outlined their challenges, adding that 7,300 of them had so far been resolved.
He said the National MSMEs Clinic initiative was an opportunity for government agencies to solve the problems of entrepreneurs.
“Government has realised that what every MSME needs is cheap money to support their businesses as not many can survive the 26 per cent bank interest rate. We may not solve the entire problems at once but we are genuine in solving these problems.”
He urged entrepreneurs in Oyo State to take advantage of the N59 billion earmarked in 2018 by the Development Bank of Nigeria for disbursement to MSMEs at single digit.
The vice president also said that the Federal Government had approved a national SME award for individuals who had distinguished themselves in the MSMEs sector.
“Nominate yourself for the award when it is rolled out,” Osinbajo said.
In his remarks, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi said the greatest challenge the nation had was how to provide employment for the people.
The governor stressed that it was not the responsibility of government to provide jobs but to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
He lauded the Federal Government’s initiative, noting that the clinic would create opportunities for business people to learn more on how to do their businesses and how to have access to cheap funds.
“We need these small businesses to thrive because they are the ones that create the largest amount of jobs and employment opportunities for our people.”
He said his government had done a lot to promote businesses in the state through the strategic partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) in instituting one billion naira MSME development funding scheme for on-lending to manufacturing related MSME in the state.
Similarly, the governor noted that his administration was able to support about two hundred projects under the scheme with the sum of eight hundred million naira, adding that a total of five thousand youths had been generated under the scheme throughout the state.
“Our government established ‘One Stop Investment Centre” to facilitate ease of access and improved responsiveness in service delivery to investors by the various MDAs that provide supportive services to SMEs.”
“Strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria in facilitating a two billion naira MSME support finding window to support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the state at a single digit interest rate. Under the scheme, a total sum of three fifty million was disbursed to trade groups within the state.”
“Fund in excess of one billion have been disbursed to support various MSMEs promoted by the receptive grouping within the organised private sectors in the state and the generality of the public,” Ajimobi disclosed.
The governor said his government had provided security and other incentives to make the state conducive for investment.