The Acting President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has applauded the contributions of the Abuja Enterprise Agency for the wonderful work it is doing in driving Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Territory and its intention to increase the funding to the sector.
The Acting President made this declaration while opening the Nationwide MSME Clinics in Abuja, on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Prof Yemi Osinbajo commended the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello for the excellent work he is doing while assuring him that the Federal Government will support the Administration in many ways it can.
Prof. Osinbajo conveyed personal excitement over what he saw on ground while inspecting the exhibitions and waxed prophetic by declaring, “I have seen the future!.“ According to him, many of the exhibitors he saw were young men and women, who are using Nigerian products and raw materials to produce incredible things.
The Acting President noted that while the entrepreneurs were doing their own part, that government would do its own. This, he said, is the reason why his office has organized the MSME Clinics across the country.
In his words “Government has a key role to play in creating an environment for businesses to prosper. This was the reason, in my discussion with Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, we undertook to develop small businesses quickly. We also recognized that the chief problems that businesses have are regulatory agencies, funding and conducive environment.”
The Acting President noted that he had signed an Executive Order for government to patronize locally made products where ever it is possible. Consequently, he noted, recently the Nigerian Army is sourcing its boots and batiks from local producers.
Another initiative is to take the regulatory agencies to the small businesses rather wait for them to come while acknowledging that there have been tremendous improvement in this area.
The Acting President recalled that the current Minister of State, Trade and Industry, Hajia Aisha Abubakar came from the Abuja Enterprise Agency adding “Don’t be surprised if more Ministers come from the Agency.”
In his remarks, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, said that the Nationwide MSME Clinic was borne out of the current Administration’s commitment towards facilitating the rapid growth of the sector in the FCT and the country at large.
MSMEs, Malam Bello noted, play a vital role in the nation’s economy as it is responsible for 48 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs about 33 million of the nation’s workforce.”
According to him, “Through it, our efforts in entrepreneurship development are bearing fruits. We have provided credit facilities ranging from N70,000 to 2 Million to budding entrepreneurs as well as offered services such as business advisory, capacity building, assistance and with workspaces among others.”
He thanked the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for this laudable initiative and conveyed the readiness of the residents to leverage the opportunities provided by the Nationwide MSME Clinic. The Minister hoped that all participants would take advantage of this forum to improve their business as they are a very important part of the economy and hold the key to our economic development.
In his address of welcome at the occasion the Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Mr. Muhammed Arabi Tukur highlighted the efforts of the Agency in the promotion of MSMEs.
According to him, the Youth Enterprise Support programme of the agency is designed to nurture youth to become business leaders and over 134 youths have been trained in this subject. Participants, he said, would create their own business and become employers of labour.
Over 7000 participants and 1000 exhibitors were at the event which took place at the Eagle Square Abuja.
Chief Press Secretary