In a move aimed at facilitating small businesses nationwide, the federal government inaugurated the National Council on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on Friday.
The inauguration was conducted by Vice President Kashim Shettima, marking a significant step towards streamlining the processes for small businesses across the country.
Charles Odii, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), provided insights during a briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He emphasized that the council’s mandate extends to the states, where governors will serve as heads and chairmen, with SMEDAN acting as the secretariat.
The primary objective is to ensure that small businesses have seamless access to everything they need for initiation, growth, and scalability.
Mr. Odii mentioned that Vice President Shettima directed regular progress reports from the council every two weeks. SMEDAN will liaise with state governors to communicate the operational details of the council following its inauguration.
Addressing challenges faced by small businesses, particularly the loss of three million enterprises, Mr. Odii highlighted issues related to insecurity, limited access to finance, and global competitiveness. To address financial constraints, initiatives such as a N5 billion, nine per cent no collateral loan for small businesses in collaboration with Sterling Bank, and a N30 billion fund from Access Bank for youth and women, have been announced.
Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs and Job Creation, underscored the commitment of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to create an enabling environment for small businesses.
Dele Oye, the National President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, lauded Vice President Shettima’s dedication to MSME development.
The inauguration of the National Council on MSMEs reflects the government’s proactive approach to addressing challenges and fostering an environment conducive to the growth of small businesses in Nigeria.