File: Participants at Vanguard Economic Forum Series on MSMEsVanguard Economic Forum Series on MSMEs

By Naomi Uzor

THE Federal Government has reiterated its support to drive development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair. He was represented by Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagum.

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Buhari said strengthening of MSMEs which form the bulk of this fair would lead to greater utilisation of local raw materials, employment generation, encouragement of rural development and building the capacity of entrepreneurs.

He stated: “The vast majority of the developing and developed countries rely mostly on the dynamism, resourcefulness and risk taking of the small enterprises to kick start a bankable process of sustained economic growth. The resolve of this administration is, therefore, to leverage on this ideal.

“The aim of this fair which is to connect businesses and create value is meant to empower African entrepreneurs through the bridging of technological gaps, developing and improving local business strategies, championing strategic investments and creating access to market thereby developing the Nigerian economy.”

The president noted that the economic focus of his administration was to diversify from a mono product economy with the special focus on non-oil sector using the private sector as an arrow head.

“To achieve this, government has made concerted efforts at enhancing the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) initiative, which is often given to deserving exporters while using the Bank of Industry (BOI) as a tool to implement the small and medium enterprise guarantee scheme in an effort towards assisting the industrial and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sectors,” he added.

Buhari said the task of transforming Nigeria into an industrial giant cannot be achieved without the needed collaboration with the private sector to ensure an inclusive sustainable path towards growth, job creation and economic development.

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“My government, therefore, welcomes all good intended efforts like yours and others from the private sector in helping to positively change the narrative by holding hands with the federal government in this patriotic drive and as you are all aware, the increasing number of unemployed youths vis a vis the non availability of white collar jobs has made entrepreneurship a viable platform to deploy the hands of these job seekers and economically empower them.

“The federal government is fully committed to its mandate of providing assistance that would guarantee the growth of MSMEs in ensuring that their products meet acceptable with global standards,” he said.

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