FG committed to prosperity of MSMEs – Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima the has assured that President Bola Tinubu’s administration was committed to the prosperity of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Shettima, represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, gave the assurance at the World MSMEs Day (Joint Nigeria and African Union event), held on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the recent launch of the N150 billion MSME’s Intervention fund in partnership with the Bank of Industry, which offers single digit loans to MSMEs across Nigeria, among other interventions, was an example of the commitment.

Shettima said that MSMEs were the backbone of not only the Nigerian or the African economy, but of the global economy.

According to him, they account for 90 per cent of all businesses worldwide and employ over 60 per cent of the global workforce.

He said, ” It is no wonder that the United Nations has dedicated today, June 27, to recognise MSMEs and to celebrate them for their immense contributions to the economies of nations all over the world.

” In Nigeria, the stakes are even higher when it comes to MSMEs. MSMEs in Nigeria account for 96 per cent of all businesses.

”They contribute to our economy by over 45 per cent and without them, 80 per cent of the current Nigerian workforce will be without employment.

” These facts provide us with the evidence that if MSMEs prosper, Nigeria prospers, if MSMEs prosper, Africa prospers, if MSMEs prosper, the entire world prospers.”

Shettima, however, said that unfortunately, MSMEs in Africa were fraught with numerous challenges that hinder their growth and by extension, the growth of the African economy.

He added, ” It is for this reason that we have joined hands with the African Union Commission to hear from you all, our distinguished guest speakers and panelists, on devising the appropriate continental solution for this obvious continental problem.

” I want to urge us all not to forget that this gathering is a call to action. This means that we must all ensure that we do our part and put into action all the insights that have been uncovered from today’s occasion.

” Failure to do so would mean that we have gathered here for nothing and wasted another opportunity.”

Shettima appreciated the leadership of the African Union Commission for partnering with the Nigerian government to bring together relevant stakeholders to lend their voice to the important conversation on what could be done to better support MSMEs in Africa.

Earlier, Mr Tola Adekunle-Johnson, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, reiterated the determination of the government to put modalities in place to ensure that MSMEs access single digits loan easily.

He thanked WEMA bank for partnering with the  Tinubu’s administration to expand opportunities in the MSMES space.

Adekunle-Johnson said, ” The essence of the partnership is to ensure that small businesses are able to get a single digits loan.”

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