By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigerians need to ensure increased patronage of local products to empower Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), thereby strengthening the economy and making the people prosperous.
Osinbajo stated this at the 7th edition of the MSMEs clinics, an initiative of the Office of the Vice President and hosted by the Ogun State Government at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.
He described MSMEs as a veritable platform for industrialisation and global competitiveness, hence the need to put together the MSMEs clinics.
The Acting President said though Nigeria had the most entrepreneurial aggressive people in the world, it lacked necessary regulatory framework needed to make things work, adding that the MSMEs clinics was one of the ways of letting the regulatory authorities know their roles as facilitators of businesses and not act as stumbling block.
Osinbajo commended the Ogun State Government for consenting to open one stop shop in the state for MSMEs to have access to relevant agencies, noting that the state was fast becoming an engine of industrial growth.
He blamed the nation’s economic woes on mismanagement of resources, pointing out that if public officials continue to steal the nation’s resources, there was no way the country could make progress.
Earlier in his address, the Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun said government’s focus on development of MSMEs would bring significant growth, employment generation and increased local productivity thereby reducing import bills on food and essential products that could be produced locally.
Amosun added further that his administration since inception had been paying serious attention to the development of the sector through regular interaction and provision of single digit loan to help fast track its businesses.
He said his administration would continue to put in place policies and programmes aimed at improving the sector and attracting more direct foreign investment to the State.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, explained that the principal objective of the programme was to create a platform for stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the setting-up and operations of MSMEs with a view to providing and sharing information on policies, programmes and initiatives for the sector.