…Unveils national MSME awards
By Yinka Kolawole
The federal government is set to establish different production facilities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country, in collaboration with state governments, to help them overcome their funding challenges.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who disclosed this through his Special Assistant on MSMEs, Tola Adekunle-Johnson, also announced plan to organise the maiden edition of National MSME Awards to hold on August 2, 2018.
Osinbajo said that upon the take-off of the shared production facilities, all that would be required of small business operators, who face challenges funding the purchase of production equipment, was to pay a token to the government to rent the production facilities for the creation of their products as obtainable in some developed countries.
He said following his tour of MSME clinics across 17 states of the country in the past 18 months and having interacted with over 303,000 MSME operators, the federal government decided to initiate a rewarding system to reward 12 most outstanding small business owners.
He stated: “The Presidency has graciously approved the establishment of shared facilities for MSMEs because as the clinics have gone we have seen that there are some MSMEs, though smart but do not even have financial capabilities to run their businesses.
“A lot of MSMEs engage in different clusters but they don’t have money for the equipments to buy equipments for their clusters, so what we are trying to do as a government is to partner with interested states as well and say listen give us facilities. We, as the federal government, will come up with how to get the equipment or at least an average of five clusters per state.
“So, if you say for instance you are manufacturing pure water, you can come into this building pay a token and manufacture your pure water. The building would have been certified by National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). Once you manufacture that pure water you are going to the market to sell. If you are doing leather works the same thing is applicable. That’s another initiative that has come out of national MSME clinics.”
On the award slated to hold in Abuja, the vice president said it would be cash-backed, adding that it is aimed at encouraging MSMEs in the country.
According to him, the award will be in 12 categories namely: MSME of the Year, Young MSME of the Year, Most Friendly MSME State, Excellence in Creative Arts, Excellence in Agriculture, Excellence in Manufacturing, Excellence in Manufacturing, Excellence in Technology Innovation and Excellence in Fashion and Style. Others are Excellence in Leather Works, Excellence Furniture and Wood Works, Excellence in Beauty, Wellness and Cosmetics as well as Excellence for Non-Profit Service to Humanity.
Osinbajo listed the criteria to include: outstanding business concept, locally produced goods, use of local technology, and provision of conducive atmosphere for MSMEs to thrive, among others. He said nominations will commence from July 4 to 13, 2018, pointing out that it would be national programme that would hold annually.