Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said MSME Week was Buhari’s endeavor to help small businesses in the country.
This caused the regime to devote a whole week to the intensive promotion of MSMEs in Nigeria.
This is what Osinbajo said on Thursday in a speech given on his behalf by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Niyi Adebayo at the opening of the first edition of the MSME National Discourse.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President’s Media and Public Relations, Laolu Akande, announced this in a statement entitled âWhy We Dedicated One Week of Promoting MSMEs, Highlighting Their Needs – Osinbajoâ.
Earlier this week, the vice president visited some MSMEs in Abuja and would headline the annual MSME awards on Sunday, along with other events scheduled for the week-long memorial ceremony.
The Vice President said, âGiven the priority it has given the MSME sector over the years, the Buhari government has supported MSMEs in a number of ways, including through the MSME Clinics Initiative, which is carried out through a partnership of relevant MDAs.
âThe MSME Week is the newest initiative in this regard. In the last few years we have organized a national MSME day parallel to the World SME Day proclaimed by the United Nations.
“However, in order to further strengthen the profile of MSMEs and promote understanding of the sector, we have decided to devote the entire week to raising awareness of the services of our MSMEs and highlighting their needs.”
Regarding his participation in the week’s activities and other programs planned for the occasion, Osinbajo said, âTwo days ago, as part of the week’s activities, I visited DLK Signature Limited, which makes shoes, bags and clothing, and also operates like a privately run community facility.
âI also visited Roving Heights, an emerging independent bookstore that combines a physical presence with an online presence.
âI was impressed with the vision, work ethic, and organizational acumen of these companies, but my goal was to encourage them and all other companies in the MSME space and signal that the federal government supports their efforts every step of the way.
“Other activities scheduled for MSME Week include an MSME clinic in one of the states, this MSME National Discourse, a fashion and art exhibition, and the night of the National MSME Awards.”
Recalling the federal government’s interventions in this sector, the vice president said the clinics have so far been held in 27 states and the initiative has been expanded to encourage states to set up one-stop shops and shared facilities.
He said: âThe Buhari government has also put in place a number of other programs and initiatives aimed at supporting the work of MSMEs.
âWe have taken precautions in our development finance institutions to reduce lending to MSMEs. We have also exempted small businesses with sales of less than N 20 million from tax, while companies with sales of less than N 100 million now benefit from a one-third reduction in the corporate tax rate from 30% to 20%.
âEqually remarkable is the support that the federal government has given small businesses in the special context of COVID-19 through the economic sustainability plan.
âThrough the Payroll Support Program, we were able to help companies from various sectors keep their employees.
âIn the same way, craftsmen and transporters were supported by the Survival Fund in order to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic on their livelihoods. The MSME-specific interventions in other ESP programs such as the âAgriculture for Food and Employmentâ program, the âFamily Homes Fundâ program and the Solar Power Naija program are similar.
“With the Family Homes Fund, for example, construction contracts with a purchase guarantee are awarded to consortia of young professionals in the construction sector such as architects, engineers, surveyors, builders, etc.”
Osinbajo praised the National MSME Secretariat for the initiative to hold a National Discourse on MSMEs and noted that the topic of the discourse – Small Beginnings: Huge Impact – came at the right time.
The topic, he said, âclearly underscores the potential of the MSME sector. It inspires hope, signals growth and anticipates success.
âIn addition, it offers economic actors (especially those relating to the MSME subsector) an important platform to review, assess, take stock and offer solutions to the challenges that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises face in the country are faced. â
He urged participants to provide further insights and shed light on important issues that affect small businesses about the costs they incur in doing business. ”
Other dignitaries at the event included Minister for State Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum; the managing director of the Bank of Industry, Kayode Pitan; the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo; the Director General of the Vocational Training Fund, Joseph Ari; the Managing Director of the Development Bank of Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi, and representatives from Access Bank, NEXIM Bank, FIRS, NAFDAC, SMEDAN, SON and others.