Commissions SMEDAN headquarters in Abuja
Vice President Kashim Shettima has said the federal government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s watch will never shift ground in its determination to protect businesses in Nigeria.
According to him, enterprises are not only the very bedrock of a society but also reflect the direction the government is heading to and the speed with which it is doing so.
The VP who stated this on Wednesday while commissioning the corporate headquarters of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Abuja noted that the Tinubu administration is strategically focusing on job creation, capital accessibility, economic growth, and poverty eradication to revamp the economy.
Shettima said, “Allow me to emphasise the importance of this moment: there is no more fitting time than now to reinforce the protection of enterprises in Nigeria. These enterprises not only stand as the very bedrock of our society but also reflect the direction the government is headed and the velocity with which we do so.
“This moment solidifies His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s assurance to protect our enterprises. It resonates deeply within our economic revitalisation plan. His focus on job creation, capital accessibility, economic growth, and poverty eradication forms the very skeleton of our strategy to invigorate the economy. Inevitably, this path demands tough decisions, yet ones essential to our success.”
The VP also recalled that he had inaugurated the National MSME Council ten days ago, saying it was just the beginning that sets the stage for what is up ahead.
Explaining how President Tinubu intends to make sure businesses and other economic enterprises prosper in the country, VP Shettima said, “Notably, our partnership with the Bank of Industry to unveil a N75 billion, 9% interest loan accessible to Nigerian MSMEs as of January 2024 is a pivotal stride. This initiative is geared towards fostering a more conducive and enabling business environment.
“This government doesn’t just boast some of the nation’s finest talents; it champions those invested in ensuring our business owners have front-row seats in our journey towards progress. Our goal is to cultivate an ecosystem where Nigerian businesses become regular features in globally recognized publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times for the right reasons.
“We are all well aware that Mr. President’s readiness to take action has never faltered, and what we are witnessing here is just a component of the strategies in place to create a future brimming with endless opportunities”.
The Vice President congratulated the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, and the leadership of SMEDAN, saying they have proven that they are ready to transform “concepts into tangible actions.
“This initiative renews hope for a critical segment of our entrepreneurial community, and highlights our sensitivity to the economic clock of the nation,” he added.
Earlier in her remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Uzoka-Anite, thanked Vice President Shettima for his unwavering support to MSMEs in the country.
She said the completion and commissioning of the new SMEDAN Complex is a clear demonstration of the commitment of the Tinubu administration to the development of the MSME space.
She also outlined other initiatives of the federal government targeted at building capacity and linking MSMEs to markets at home and abroad.
For his part, the Director General of SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii, thanked the Vice President for his support and guidance in the actualisation of the project and leadership in the MSME space.
He said the agency and the entire MSME community in Nigeria have recorded significant achievements within a short period of time under the leadership of the VP.
He assured that the agency will continue to collaborate with sister organisations to ensure sustainable growth in the sector.
Other dignitaries at the event were the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industry, Trade and Investment, Sen. Fadahunsi Anthony; Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Sen. Asuquo Ekpenyong; Chairman of the House Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises, Hon. Mansur Manu Soro; Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Evelyn Ngige, as well as heads of government agencies and parastatals.
Senior Special Assistant to The President on Media and Communications
(Office of The Vice President)
20th December, 2023