A group of young professionals of the Niger Delta extraction has vowed to champion a new narrative towards stimulating the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) in the region.
The group said it has concluded plans to host what it described as the biggest MSME Summit in the region, stressing that the event, which was earlier planned for March 2020 was moved to Friday, February 12, 2021 due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Chairman of Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and former governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Moses Siloko Siasia, said a team of young people with futuristic thinking had been put together for the summit.
Siasia, who said the theme of the event is ‘Stimulating MSME Growth Beyond Oil’, added that the summit will host over 300 carefully selected MSME/small business owners across all the states in the region who will attend in person, while others will join the conference virtually in conformity with the COVI9-19 preventive guidelines and protocols.
He noted that amongst other things, the summit would help generate a database of all the existing MSMEs in the region, while galvanizing stakeholders’ buy-in for the strengthening of businesses operating in the Niger Delta region to facilitate the sustainable growth of small businesses.
“The only hope for the region right now is to encourage those doing meaningful businesses. The society has neglected productivity for too long. More people of good character and competence should be encouraged to emerge in the region and in which case young people with great ideas and skills can be enabled by the various governments of the region and the multinational oil companies operating within the region,” he said.
He stressed that it would further enhance the region’s productive capacity to be competitive and develop.
Siasia said the summit would be attended by young business owners between the ages of 18 and 45, adding that it would be a day summit, including product showcase, main-stage keynotes, interactive master sessions, style breakouts, business to business meetings, mentoring sessions and networking opportunities, among others.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, are expected at the summit.
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simi Wabote, will feature as Guest Speaker.
Other dignitaries are the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Effiong Akwa, and some federal ministers, chairmen and executive directors of government parastatals.