Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has declared the future of Nigeria’s economy lies in the growth of small and medium scale businesses and has promised the continuous support of government to ensure this becomes a reality.
According to a release by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Osinbajo made this assertion at the launch of the MSMEs clinic in the Nation’s capital at the eagle square on Thursday.
“This has been a very exciting afternoon for me because I have seen the future of the economy of our country and that future lies in the small and medium scale enterprises, many of who are here today advertising their products”.
“The business of making our country truly great is not just the business of government. Government is transient, it passes away but it is the business of every one of us.’’
“I can assure you that whatever it takes to make our country truly where it should be in the comity of nations in Africa and anywhere in the world, we will give it.’’
“I want to say that the future of our country is in small businesses, medium size businesses doing great things, and that is what we are seeing here today.”
“I want to say that all of the businesses we have seen here today, many of them are young men and women who believe in this country and who are using Nigerian products, Nigerian crafted machines in many cases, fabricated and who are producing incredible things with what they have.”
“A lot of the capital they have is from several of the micro finance businesses that are working with them.”
He also emphasized government’s commitment to create conducive environment which will support business growth.
“But it is not enough for these businesses to produce and manufacture and to work hard as they are doing, it is our business as government to do our part.”
“That is exactly why we have this MSME Clinics, the reason why we decided to have this clinics in the different states where we have held them so far and now in Abuja, is because we believe that government has a key role to play in creating an environment for businesses to prosper and for businesses to make good.”
“We recognise that one of the chief problems that small businesses have is with regulatory agencies; being able to access regulatory agencies and get quick and efficient service from regulatory agencies.”
“Secondly, funding is also an important constraint for many of these small businesses.”
“So we thought that it would be wise to actually take these regulatory agencies to the small businesses rather than wait for the small businesses to come to the regulatory agencies”.
“I recently signed two Executive Orders which are closely related to improving the business environment for MSMEs. These Executive Orders are also important in the work we are trying to achieve.”
The Acting President further expressed government’s commitment in ensuring the country achieves self sufficiency in the production of certain foodstuffs by 2018.
“By 2018, we expect to be completely self-sufficient in rice production, we are going to do the same for tomatoes; we are going to do the same for several others of our products. In this Executive Order which was signed barely six weeks ago, we are saying that the Federal Government of Nigeria and state governments must patronize locally produced goods.”
“So, the first point of call is to patronize locally produced goods. Already the Armed Forces are patronizing those who are making boots and some people who are making fatigues and different kinds of fabrics for the Army. We are going to insist that this should be so in our purchases especially where we have events such as this and where we have state dinners and so on. And it is also our desire that we patronize locally produced clothing as much as we can.”
“I want to just say that the Federal Government is committed to MSMEs and to developing MSMEs. So, we are going to work very hard to ensure that we don’t just do exhibitions and come round to places like this and see what you are doing, but we are going to follow up; we are going to see that those who require funding, those who have the talents, those who have the creativity, are funded.”
“I can assure you that whatever it takes to make our country truly where it should be in the comity of nations in Africa and anywhere in the world, we will give it.”