By Favour Nnabugwu
German Agency for International Corporation, GIZ has earmarked 20 million Euro to boost Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, MSMEsf for the next three years. GIZ Country Director, Mr. Thomas Kirsch made this known last week while announcing the second phase of the Pro-poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria programme, SEDIN, in Abuja.
Kirsch said the funds, allocated by the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation, BMZ for a three extension until March 2017, would be particularly spent on agricultural sector and other value chains like housing and energy, among others.
He said that the programme, which would also cover vocational training in different trades, will work at the federal, states and local levels, especially in Niger, Ogun and Plateau States.
The director recalled that GIZ had been supporting Nigeria in its business environment reforms through funding of SEDIN in the past 10 years with the aim of increasing income and employment with MSMEs through financial sector reform, value chain development and economic integration.
Also speaking, the Head of SEDIN Programme, Mr. Christian Widmann said SEDIN would continue to partner with various public and private sector stakeholders at all levels of government in order to increase its focus on addressing the needs of MSMEs.
Widmann said this would be done in four areas of the programme interventions like supporting financial system development, improved enabling business environment, trade policy and facilitation; and value chain promotion.
He listed objectives of the programme as sustainable economic development; renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable cocoa business; competitive African rice initiative, and support of economic integration into ECOWAS.
He explained that the financial system development unit of the programme’s approach would improve the regulatory environment for microfinance, and activities to foster financial literacy and consumer protection in the financial sector.
Widmann added that the business enabling environment reforms would enhance the regulatory and institutional environment for MSMEs at local, state and federal levels while trade and facilitation would reduce administrative hurdles to domestic and intra-regional trade by removing physical barriers and supporting border management reforms as well as promoting Nigerian exports into ECOWAS sub-region, among others.
He further stressed that the value chain promotion would help to diversify the economy and enable the programme to ascertain the effects of the reforms promoted in all four units and design reforms in line with value chains-specific to target group needs.
According to him, the programme adopts an integral capacity development approach and interfaces with the public and private sector as