By Yinka Kolawole
VICE President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the Executive Order he recently signed to facilitate the ease of doing business in Nigeria has started generating positive results on the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Osinbajo stated this during a media chat at the just concluded 2017 SMEs Conference jointly organised by Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NAAC) and the Economic Affairs Section of US Embassy in Kaduna.
Responding to a question on how the executive order will impact the development of MSMEs, the vice president stated: “One of the most important things is the whole business of pre-investment approvals and also the kinds of approval that you expect to get from NAFDAC, SON and the support you expect to get from BOI and I am glad to see that they are all here.
“So, I think that they are a lot more proactive and they are working a lot more on the time it takes to get these approvals. So that is really one of the most important things about these executive orders, just generally getting all of the relevant agencies to quicken the pace of granting approvals for all of these products and I think that we are getting positive results.”
He commended the innovativeness and energy displayed by exhibitors and at the event, particularly the manufacturing community.
“One of the things that strike you is that there is so much going on that you don’t even know about. This is my second visit, I was here last year for this exhibition and there is tremendous improvement already. I am just seeing someone who has a drying technology out there which could really help with a lot of post-harvest losses and all that. There are people who are doing all manner of creative things, it is fantastic,” he stated.
Speaking on hidden opportunities in Nigeria, Osinbajo declared: “The opportunities are no longer even hidden. I think what everyone has come to discover is that this country is just so blessed, so much in terms of resources. And I think what we have seen especially with the young entrepreneurs here today is that these things are already being exploited.
“In this particular ecosystem, you have the USAID working with a lot of the entrepreneurs who are here and there is a lot of export going on – export of Moringa, Shea butter. But the good thing is that they are not exporting raw products, they are actually processing and packaging them, and the packaging is world-class. If you look around you can’t tell that this isn’t from any of the world class supermarkets. I am really proud of what these young entrepreneurs are doing, I like going round to see what they are doing.”