The Federal Government has set up a One-Stop Shop for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), saying the move is aimed at removing bottlenecks hindering the growth and development of MSMEs in Nigeria.
Vice President,Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, explained that the initiative would give small businesses access to interact with all the relevant agencies that are critical to supporting the growth and development of the business community.
Osinbajo made this known at the launch of MSME One-Stop Shop and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) Marketmoni Train in Kwara State.
He added that the MSME One-Stop Shop and the GEEP markemoni train are two very important projects of the federal government.
He maintained that were set up to address the challenges faced by small business operators, market women and artisans, who do not have access to credit to support their businesses.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Micro Enterprises, BoI, Mrs Toyin Adeniji, said that the Bank of Industry (BoI’s) disbursement under GEEP has hit over N500 million disbursed to over 10,000 people in Kwara State, with a target to reach over one million market women and artisans in the country.
The Vice President said, We have decided that we will go from state to state meeting the MSMEs, said market women taking along the BOI, Corporate Affairs Commission, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), so that the market women will meet with this regulatory authorities. They will be able to interact with these agencies so as to get more trust and rely on these agencies. We intend to go round to ensure that all of the market women, MSMEs and some other persons who need the assistance of these regulatory authorities are able to access them.
“We have established MSME One-Stop Shop in Kwara State. This is a very simple concept where in an office you will have access to all regulatory agencies that you need to make you operate your businesses with ease.
They will all be stationed here to address the issue of going up and down. With this One-Stop Shop, it is easy for you to do all the businesses that you want to do and all the attention you need from the authorities.”
According to him, countries that have succeeded prioritised development in production, supported the market women and small businesses, the only way to ensure that Nigeria succeeds is not just in building industries, but providing jobs for its teeming unemployed youths.
Earlier, the Governor, Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the MSME One-stop programme is aimed at providing the platform for convenient, continuous and easy interaction between MSMEs and regulatory agencies, while the GEEP marketmoni train is a social intervention programme executed by BOI aimed at ensuring financial inclusion.
He said the event clearly demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to reposition SMEs to drive inclusive economic growth, regional development, employment generation and poverty reduction.
He commended the federal government for the timely initiative and its commitment towards supporting MSMEs in Nigeria by addressing the challenge faced by SMEs in the country, stressing that these initiatives connect with his administration’s mandate to ensure that SMEs thrive in the State.
He said plans are underway to commence a 5 year tax relief regime for small business owners in Kwara State, urging Kwarans to take advantage of the MSME One-Stop shop and GEEP markemoni train to access credit for their businesses.
Adeniji noted the Development Finance Institution (DFI) had so far given over 300,000 loans across the country with plans to do even more.
“We have mobilized up to N500 million in the State and so far given loans to over 8000 beneficiaries. Just between yesterday and today, we have added another 2400 beneficiaries. We have plans to cover all the 16 local governments in the State. The call to action for us is to make sure we touch every single life we can reach,” she averred.
She noted that to access the GEEP all that is required is for the market women, artisans and small businesses to have an active bank account, a Bank Verification Number (BVN) and belong to a credible association.