Federal Capital Territory gives assurance to growing businesses

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

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The Federal capital territory administration in Nigeria has reiterated its commitment in providing the necessary logistics for growing Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and encouraging stakeholder engagement in the sector.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello made this commitment while inaugurating the eleven member FCT MSMEs Council in Abuja, Nigeria.

The membership of the FCT Council on MSMEs were drawn from both the public institutions and credible privates sector institutions in the FCT.

The FCT MSMEs Councils member were draw from BOI, CBN, SMEDAN, CAC, SON, ITF, NAFDA, AEA, AWEP, FCT planing Research and Statistics Department with FCT Permanent Secretary serving as the Chairman.

Speaking while inaugurating the Council member, the Minister noted that the setting up of the MSMEs Council is the Federal government policy requiring states and FCT to set up Councils which are to serve as institutional frameworks for driving small and medium enterprises across the federation.

Unhealthy consequences
Malam Bello said that the Council comprise relevant parastatals and stakeholders in the sector.

He said the establishment of MSMEs Councils became necessary because of the unhealthy consequences of the fragmented approach to MSMEs development in the country.

The Minister therefore tasked the Council to act as aggregators across the states, coordinate the implementation of the Nigerian policy on MSMEs as well as provide linkages and synergy among all stakeholders.

Malam Bello further said that the establishment of MSMEs Councils, will give greater impetus to the economic diversification agenda of the Muhammad Buhari Administration.

” It would facilitate effort by the current Administration to improve it’s Nigeria’s rating in the “Global Ease of Doing Business ” scale and also drive poverty alleviation and create jobs. To this effect we are strengthening the capacity of the Abuja Enterprises Agency, AEA,  to drive the sector in the FCT as well as to effectively function as the secretariat for the Council,” he stated.

The Minister commended the efforts of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Abuja Enterprises Agency, AEA, and all other stakeholders for the successful constitution of the FCT MSMEs Council.

“I have implicit confidence in the ability of Council Members to ensure that the intentions of the Federal Government as well as the FCT in constituting the council are actualised,” he said.

The Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Mr Dikko Umar Radda, who  explained that the MSMEs are the bedrock for Nigeria’s industrialization and inclusive economic development also said that MSMEs are considered very relevant in the achievement of the recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.

Mr Radda who was represented by the Director, Policy and Coordination, Mr Monday Ewans said that, so far, the State Councils on MSMEs have been inaugurated in fifteen States across the federation, namely, Kano, Kaduna, Ogun,  Edo, Bauchi, Plateau, Ebony, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Kogi, Ekiti, Taraba and Ondo state.

He hinted that with the continued support of the FCT Administration,  MSMEs development projects will be effectively implemented in the FCT towards achieving the objectives of jobs creation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation in tandem with the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

“In our determination to address the challenges confronting the MSMEs in Nigeria in a holistic manner, the Abuja is implementing the One Local government One product ( OLOP) programme in one hundred and nine senatorial districts in the country.

This ambitious effort of the Agency is based on the successful implementation of the pilot phase of the OLOP programme in Kaduna, Katsina, FCT, and Anambra States, “Radda said.

SME Rating Agency in Nigeria
The Director General further said that, in an effort aimed at developing the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sub sector in Nigeria, the Agency was collaborating with the Bank of Industry and the Nigeria Export – Import Bank towards establishing an SME Rating Agency in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the FCT MSMEs Council, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Christian Ohaa said that the Council would ensure that the task given to them is carried out with utmost dedication and spirit of patriotism.

Mr Ohaa assured the Council that the FCT administration would provide the needed support for the Council to ensure that its operations and activities sync with the policy of ‘Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria’ patriotically driven by the Vice President.

Lateefah Ibrahim