Yemi Osinbajo

From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Office of the Vice President will organise the Nationwide Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) at Eagle Square, Abuja from July 19 to 20.

The federal government’s initiative to diversify the economy through strengthening the MSMEs in the country by facilitating business meeting with regulators and financiers, will be organised in collaboration with the FCT Administration, through its vehicle for entrepreneurial development and wealth creation, the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA).

Aside from accelerating business growth and providing on the spot support services for micro and medium enterprises, the scheme will also provide the platform to showcase and promote Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

The clinic started in February and has been held in six states of the federation, namely Abia, Sokoto, Cross River, Kaduna, Kwara and Plateau.

The Managing Director, AEA, Arabi M. Tukur said on Wednesday that the two-day clinic that will feature exhibition, business matching and market linkage, is expected to host 5,000 MSMEs within and outside the FCT. Of the figures, 4,000 will comprise of participants while the rest will be exhibitors.

Tukur said that the sum of N104 million has been budgeted to organise the programme, while a committee has been working with the coordinator Aisha Dasuki, and the representative of the Vice President, to ensure a hitch free clinic.

“The programme will create opportunities for business regulatory bodies including Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Bank of Industry (BoI), Bank of Agriculture BoA), Raw Materials Research and Development council (RMRDC) amongst others, to understand the challenges business owners in FCT are going through,” Tukur said.

The Technical Adviser to the Vice-President on MSMEs, Tola Johnson said that donor agencies will be invited to explore the possibility of providing grants to the micro business operators and different investors to see if they have interest in the business of the MSMEs.

He stressed that the office advises exhibitors on how to standardise their intended exports without hitches. He added that MSMEs are often refused access to loans because some business owners do not have collateral and evidence to support they can pay back the loans.