By Victoria Ojeme
About 392,000 businesses have benefited from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) clinics of the Federal Government as part of strategies of the present administration to make it easier to do business in the country.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum made this known to pressmen in Abuja yesterday her goodwill message at the 1st International Conference of Faculty of Management Sciences of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN with the theme “Entrepreneurship, Strategic Leadership and Sustainable Development in Emerging Economics.”
According to the Minister, “Most recently, through the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises clinics another strategy of the current administration to make it easier to do business in Nigeria, so far over 392,000 businesses have benefited from the MSMEs clinics.”
She said that President Buhari-led administration through the Ministry was working proactively to improve the ease of doing business by developing and implementing more pro-market policies and making the entire business environment more suitable and attractive to investors.
Amb. Katagum explained that one of such policies of government is the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which was designed to diversify the economy, restore economic growth, create jobs, empower the youth, develop human capital and infrastructure, improve business environment and bring about technological development.
She said the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) that was launched by the present administration has also helped in collaboration with and coordination of the Public and Private sectors in the implementation of sound policies to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
The Minister added that the government through several social investment initiatives such as the N- Power Volunteer Corps Scheme, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, Youth Enterprise Support Project among others had helped to promote and encourage entrepreneurship, skill acquisition and boost existing MSMEs spread across the country.
While urging all stakeholders to support Government’s efforts, she stated that the Federal Ministry of Education through its tertiary regulatory bodies was redesigning curricula to create opportunities for the training and development of students in practical entrepreneurial skills, adding that, courses in entrepreneurship development are now mandatory for all Nigerian students in tertiary institutions.
She commended the National Open University of Nigeria for its giant strides and expressed government’s commitment in ensuring that fair policies are put in place to encourage youth involvement in entrepreneurship for economic growth and development.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu said the Conference which brought together global leaders, bureaucrats, businessmen, foreign mission representatives, top industry executives, academics, government parastatals and commissions as well as students from various Universities would among others provide a platform for exchange of practical lessons and intellectual ideas, solve entrepreneurial problems, develop skills and knowledge needed for economic progress .
The Vice Chancellor stated that “It is becoming increasingly clear that there cannot be any meaningful economic development in any country without serious entrepreneurship development.”
He expressed optimism that the Conference would come up with policies that would revolutionize emerging economics and lead to sustainable national development through entrepreneurship and strategic leadership.
The Conference attracted keynote speakers which included Professor Sam Tende of the Nasarawa State University and Professor Hakeem Ajonbadi of Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirate.