Federal Government has revealed that up to 246 000 small scale businesses in the country have been formalised and made bankable through its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Clinic currently ongoing in the country.
The MSME Clinic is an initiative of the Presidential council on ease of doing business, spear-headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinabjo and supported by the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment. It is geared towards addressing concerns of small scale businesses, making them bankable and creating wealth through over 37 million MSMEs in the country.
Tola Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Job creation, confirmed the figure to BusinessDay. According to him, the government will intensify efforts to ensure small scale businesses in the country grow and get needed support in addressing concerns of rising unemployment.
The MSME-Clinic is further designed to provide an opportunity for small business operators to interface with different stakeholders and relevant government agencies that have regulatory functions in the business environment.
At the clinic, agencies such as Small, Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); Bank of Agriculture (BoA); Bank of Industry(BoI); National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission, and others that play major roles in the growth of small scale business are on hand to attend to small business owners and providing immediate answers to questions, as well as solutions, which, ordinarily would have several bottlenecks to pass through before accessing.
”My duty mainly working with the Vice President is to ensure that all the concerns they raise at the clinic are adequately followed up while working with relevant concern government agencies in finding solutions to such problems,” he said.
Okechukwu Enelemah, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry Trade and Investment had revealed that so far the Presidential Council on the Ease of doing Business has almost gone to 8 states for the MSME-clinic, which according to him, is recording appreciable success.
Recall Nigeria recently improved on its ease of doing business ranking moving up 24 places from 169th to 145th country in the ranking. Nevertheless, the President had at the budget presentation said it would not rest on its oars until Nigeria becomes easier place for doing business which would ensure it attract the right kind of investment for job creation.
The World Bank report had adjudged Nigeria as among the top 10 reforming countries in the world.
Industry analysts said the Federal government must sustain the drive on ensuring it removes the bottlenecks on the ease of doing business in order not to slip back on the recorded progress in the ranking.
Franklyn Akinyosoye, the President of Association of Business Development Professionals of Nigeria, (ABDPIN), told BusinessDay that the Federal government must continuously work closely with business professionals to support small scale businesses to grow and formalise their business.
“I make bold to say that I have served as a consultant for Yaliam Press since inception, and I now how he has grown through professional support. Small scale businesses must always seek the support of professional bodies to widen their business potentials” Franklyin said.
Also, Nana Tim-Dudeifa, a lawyer reiterated Akinyosoye’s views that policy inconsistency remains a worry on federal government’s positive drive on the ease of doing business.
“Even when we appear to get it right, there is uncertainty of consistency of action should a next administration come from an opposition party,” she told BusinessDay in a chat.
“We have seen the Vice President has done so much on the ease of doing business. We must see his face as the major driver. But I have my worry. What happens if he is not there, and there is another person that does not believe in his drive, and we may slip back further on recorded gains,” she stressed.