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Jonathan Tasks MSME Council To Improve On Finance Intervention Strategy

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan

By Ayo Balogun

The National Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has been tasked to focus on the development of a detailed “Financing Value Chain Intervention strategy” for MSMEs, so as to address challenges facing the country’s small businesses in their strive to access finance.

The combination of Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) and effective guidance of  MSME Council, would make the MSMEs  a central part of national policy where everyone in the 774 local governments in Nigeria would be covered by its benefits.

President Goodluck Jonathan made these submissions Thursday at the Inauguration of the National Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) at the State House, Presidential Villa – Abuja.

According to him, the coordination advocated for, was expected to extend to the State Level, for which State MSME Councils have already been instituted in 10 states. He was hopeful that MSME structures would soon become operational in all 36 States and the FCT.

Jonathan who revealed that the sum of N220 billion MSME fund has been provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the scheme which was formally launched a few weeks ago for small businesses, disclosed that the Federal Government’s has offered support for MSMEs to all Nigerians by decentralizing SMEDAN from only 13 States, to 36 States of the Federation and Abuja within five months.

He added that government has identified, and supported at least one product in all 774 local governments in Nigeria based on each “local government’s areas of competitive and comparative advantage”.

While noting huge number of MSMEs cooperative societies that have been registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), to help small businesses, Mr. President stated the Council would have the mandate to develop, support, and grow small businesses in the country.

He informed that it was due to significance of the Council on the small business development and the economy of the country at large, that Vice President Namadi Sambo was appointed as its Chairman.

Similarly, Jonathan hinted that a National Technical Implementation Committee would soon be constituted and would be chaired by the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, to serve the National Council on MSMEs and fast-track the implementation of its mandate.

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