By Yinka Kolawole
IN the quest to spur the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) sector in Nigeria, the Federal Government has launched the first One-Stop Shop, with seven other states slated to follow over the next two months.
The launching of the one-stop shops across the country is aimed at facilitating smoother government regulation and interface between entrepreneurs and agencies like National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), amongst others.
The move is part of the on-going nationwide MSME Clinics for viable enterprises initiated by the Presidency. The objective is to provide a platform for convenient, continuous and easy interactions between regulatory agencies and MSMEs doing business in Nigeria.
Recall that the MSMEs Clinics initiative was launched in January 2017 to give small businesses the opportunity to meet with the industry regulators, to talk to them and to hear their problems in an effort to spur local production and harness the nation’s export potential in the process.
In a statement made available to Vanguard, Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, noted that the one-stop shop for MSMEs recently launched in Jos, the Plateau State capital, is housed by the Plateau State Micro-Finance Development Agency (PLASMEDA).
He added in the statement that the agencies to be housed in the Shop include Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), CAC, FIRS, SON, NAFDAC, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
“It will also be a one-stop destination housing representatives of key government agencies under one roof where members of the public, entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, can visit to engage with these agencies, make enquiries, report complaints and receive information that can boost their business plans and ideas. The states that are next in line include Abia, Cross River, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Kano, Benue and the FCT. While these states are slated for September and October, more of the one-stop shops are expected to be launched in other states before the end of the year,” he added.
Akande further stated that while the MSMEs clinics provide opportunity for entrepreneurs and local producers in the MSME level to interact with regulatory agencies in the places where are held , the One-Stop Shop creates an ongoing opportunity in a permanent location to achieve the same purpose.
At the launch of the MSMEs Clinic in Katsina in May, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that the clinics were part of Buhari administration’s effort to bridge the gap between MSMEs and relevant FG regulatory agencies to ensure that those agencies become facilitators of businesses, not obstacles to business development.
“The evidence is that over the years government and its agencies are seen more as an obstacle, a hindrance rather than a facilitator, and this is across all arms of government – executive, judiciary and the legislature,” he said.