The Federal Government has been commended for providing business operators within the Micro, Small , Medium brackets with ease and convenient pathway to prosperity in their enterprises.
Speaking at the Federal Government clinic for operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, in Ondo State, the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, appreciated the Federal Government for its sustained interest in Ondo State, saying its a rare privilege being slated as one of the first group of states to benefit from the programme.
The governor said the programme underscored the determination of the Federal Government to drive the country’s economy towards self-reliance, using the platform as a delivery tool for development.
“This programme anticipates lifting the generality of our people from the shackles of poverty and underdevelopment.
“Launched early last year by the Vice President, this programme aims at creating a platform for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. MSME,to thrive.
“It will record success by providing opportunity for them to interact with relevant Federal Agencies and in the process, obtain practical and on-the-spot solutions to their business challenges,” he said.
The governor applauded the initiative to bring the agencies of the Federal Government that are critical to business operations and success in Nigeria closer to the door steps of the people of the Sunshine State.
The agencies according to the governor include: Bank of Agriculture, BOA; Bank of Industry, BOI; Corporate Affairs Commission ,CAC; Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS; National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC and the Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON.
Inaugurating the MSME Clinic at the International Event and Cultural Centre, The Dome, in Akure, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, said the Federal Government was fully committed to working with the Ondo State Government to ensure that potentials in the state are fully exploited and translated to a better life for all who live and work in the state.
While saying that Ondo State has a lot to be proud of and to seek economic growth for the prosperity of the people, Professor Osinbajo reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure that small businesses, market women and artisans have several opportunities to do business successfully.
He explained that in the last two years, the Federal Government had demonstrated an abiding commitment to facilitating genuine efforts by all states to attract investments, diversify economic base and create jobs and economic opportunities for their people.
“MSMEs have tended to be neglected in the country over the years as a result of the competing priorities as well as the tendency to discount their contributions to national economy.
“As individual units, small businesses may appear to be small, but together they account for as much as 50 percent of Nigeria’s GDP and over 80 percent of our labour force.
“Clearly, they are important part of the national economy and they should be treated as such, moreover now that it has become inevitable for us to look inwards to become a country that is able to grow what we eat and produce what we consume.
“The MSMEs were designed to bring government closer to the people by assembling in one place, all the regulatory agencies whose work affects the business experience of small and medium scale businesses,” he said.
The Vice President added that the Federal Government has resolved to provide funds in form of soft loans for small and medium scale business owners across the 36 states of the nation.
He described the clinics as a platform to reduce bottleneck of doing business especially rigours of establishing new business enterprise in the country.
He said everything have been put in place to assist business owners in the country as means to change the status of the country from consuming nation to a productive one.
Some of the dignitaries at the occasion are: the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi; Minister of State for Niger Delta, Prof Claudius Daramola,; Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mrs Aisha; State Chairman of APC, Engr Ade Adetimehin; Secretary to Ondo State Government Hon Ifedayo Abegunde and members of the State Executive Council.