…possibility of expanding the scope of the MSMEs Clinics to cover more beneficiaries and consolidate past efforts
He noted that having been limited to Nasarawa and Ebonyi States alone in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the secretariat, in line with the directive of the Vice President, intends to take the Clinics to the remaining States of Benue, Imo, Lagos, Gombe, Adamawa and Jigawa, in order to ensure total coverage of the country and prepare the ground for a possible nationwide second round of the Clinics.
Ambassador Dipeolu said that other initiatives that require improvement in collaboration and scope of implementation include the Shared Facility Scheme which was launched in Benue and Lagos states respectively in 2020, with Anambra and Kaduna waiting in line to be inaugurated. He noted that the scheme has proven to be one of the key products of the MSMEs Clinics that needs to be sustained and expanded.
In his remark, the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr Kayode Pitan, said partnership with stakeholders grew even stronger in 2020 despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the Bank, working with other stakeholders, will adopt strategies that will grow the MSMEs space in 2021 and beyond through the provision of facilities and other guarantees.
The Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, who represented the private sector at the meeting, reiterated the commitment of the sector in supporting the Buhari administration’s vision for MSMEs through the various initiatives implemented in the Clinics and Shared Facility Scheme.
In the same vein, the Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, spoke about the collaboration among agencies in the MSMEs space in actualizing the objectives of the Federal Government.
He said the NEPC would leverage existing and renewed cooperation among agencies to actualize its new project aimed at supporting businesses in overcoming the COVID-19 disruptions, tagged “from pandemic to prosperity”.
Also, in a brief remark, the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, said though the COVID-19 pandemic limited the operations of the agency in 2020, some innovations introduced in the wake of the pandemic went a long way in improving its operations and the overall certification of products.
Other stakeholders, including heads of government agencies, expressed their commitment to work together to impact more businesses in the MSMEs space in 2021.
Other participants at the meeting include the Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abbas Bello; Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Inuwa Abdullahi; the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Mr Dikko Radda; a representative from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Kudu Adamu; Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Mr Joseph Ari; and Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr Farouk Salim, among others.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity,
Office of the Vice President.
11th January 2021