Masari, Tambuwal, Ganduje, Wike for SME Summit

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Tolulope Ibukunoluwa

Stakeholders including no fewer than five governors are expected to grace Nigeria SME Summit and Awards 2019 (SMESUMA ’19) scheduled to hold in Abuja on December 19.

The stakeholders are gathering to brainstorm on the challenges facing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria with a view to charting the way forward.

Stakeholders who make the difference in the sector will also be recognised at the event, according to the organisers.

The theme is “Nigeria’s Prosperity through SME Prism” while keynote speaker is Prof Akpan Ekpo, a former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo and immediate past Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM).

Expected to share their experiences on SME and youth empowerment at the occasion include Governor Aminu Masari (Katsina State), Governor Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano) and Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers) who will also be honoured as SME Governors of the Year for their huge contributions to the development of SMEs as the ‘engine of economic growth’ in their respective states.

Also expected at the occasion are the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; Femi Gbajabiamila, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Chairman of the House of Representatives on Niger Delta Affairs, and Union Bank Plc.

Lakewhyte Communications, in a statement, said the event, endorsed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), would also recognise outstanding SME operators, individuals, government bodies and corporate bodies who have been at the forefront of the efforts to promote SMEs in the country.

“We had the first edition of the Nigeria SME Summit and Awards last year. The event promises to be bigger this year. It holds at NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja where stakeholders will proffer the way forward for SMEs”, the statement said.

“Our SMEs have strived to be the best that they can, with the help of public-spirited institutions and individuals, to be the engine of economic growth. The least we can do is to recognise the efforts so that, collectively, we can move the economy of the nation forward”.

The organisers noted that the developed nations across the world achieved that status following the attention they gave to SMEs, saying no effort should be spared to get our SMEs to live up to expectation as the engine of economic growth.