By ALU KINGSLEY, Abuja and OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) among other agencies are important to effective implementation of the Executive Order on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo stated this at the mega nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) clinic held in Abuja. According to him, the agencies are major feature of the MSMEs clinic which is currently going round all the states of the federation in a bid to interact with the operators and solve their problems.
He also called on governments at the states and federal levels to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods, stressing that the country has arrived at a stage where it needs to be self-reliant. The only way this can be achieved, according to him, is when we patronise made-in-Nigeria goods and products.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to boosting the activities of MSMEs as the drivers of the Made-in-Nigeria revolution. While going through the exhibition stands at the event, where he came across young men and women producers and entrepreneurs creating products from what they have available, he said, “The future of our country is in the hands of small businesses doing great things.”
According to the Acting President, the task for government is to play its role of creating the enabling environment by developing and funding MSMEs through the intervention of relevant government agencies.’’
He stated that government is taking the agencies to the MSMEs instead of the other way round so as to know their problems and help proffer practicable solutions to them.
Osinbajo disclosed that there has been tremendous improvement in the country as agencies have been helping MSMEs find their feet.
He reiterated that two executive orders recently signed for the ease of doing business and local content were to ensure that this is carried out seamlessly to accentuate governments resolve in boosting the nation’s economy through small businesses,
According to him, the Executive Order for the Ease of Doing Business has ensured that registration turnaround time with SON, NAFDAC and CAC has been greatly abridged and administrative costs subsidized by up to 50 percent. The Executive Order for local content has also specified that states and the federal government patronize made in Nigeria goods and products, “To underscore this, the Nigerian Armed Forces are already in the forefront of patronizing made in Nigeria boots and fatigues,” he said.
He also revealed that a one-stop-shops of all relevant agencies will be set-up in all the states of the federation to bring government intervention closer to those that need it the most. This he said, is in consonance with the federal government’s determination of discovering the SME’s, knowing their needs and proffering solutions.