Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says the future of Nigeria’s economy is in micro, small and media enterprises (MSMEs).
Osinbajo said this on Thursday during the launch of the MSMEs clinic in Abuja.
The acting president has been launching the clinic – which the federal government aims to use create a suitable environment for MSMEs – over the last few months in various parts of the country.
He said the business of making Nigeria great is not solely reliant on the government but on the potentials of the citizens.
According to Osinbajo, the clinic will help fix the hiccups in accessing funding and regulatory agencies MSMEs usually experience in the country.
“I want to say that the future of our country is in small businesses, medium-sized businesses, doing great things, and that is what we are seeing here today,” he said.
“But it is not enough for these businesses to produce and manufacture and to work hard as they are doing, it is our business as government to do our part.
“That is exactly why we have this MSME Clinics, the reason why we decided to have this clinics in the different states where we have held them so far and now in Abuja, is because we believe that government has a key role to play in creating an environment for businesses to prosper and for businesses to make good.
“We recognise that one of the chief problems that small businesses have is with regulatory agencies; being able to access regulatory agencies and get quick and efficient service from regulatory agencies.
“Secondly, funding is also an important constraint for many of these small businesses. So we thought that it would be wise to actually take these regulatory agencies to the small businesses rather than wait for the small businesses to come to the regulatory agencies.”
Osinbajo also said Nigeria is expected to be “completely” self-sufficient in rice production and tomatoes by the year 2019.
He said the two of the executive orders he recently signed would help increase local production of foods and other commodities in the country.
“I recently signed two executive orders which are closely related to improving the business environment for MSMEs. These executive orders are also important in the work we are trying to achieve,” he said.
“The first makes it easier for MSMEs to get approvals without delays and bureaucratic hassles; the other one is on local content.
“The first one which makes it easier for MSMEs to get approval, is one where we are seeking to reduce the time that it takes to register companies, reduce the time it takes to get approvals for different types of things that are required in a business.
“The other is local content which is absolutely important for us because we believe that just as the President said in his budget speech in December, we must make what we use and we must grow what we eat.
“By 2018, we expect to be completely self-sufficient in rice production, we are going to do the same for tomatoes; we are going to do the same for several others of our products.”