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FG empowers Nigerians through MSME  By Saviour Ekpe

FG empowers Nigerians through MSME By Saviour Ekpe

Nigerians are developing strong confidence in most of the policies, programmes and projects of the Federal Government as government on her part provides strong indicators in building confidence on its citizenry.

These strong indicators made many Nigerian business owners heave a sigh of great relief after an induction workshop organized by Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) platform in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital for operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to lend financial support to expand their business frontiers.

Speaking to Century Newsfront after the induction workshop, some of the participants Modesayo Okeniyi, an agro-allied expert; Ubong Elijah Udo, Wills Morgan Enterprise; Faith Ufot Robinson, Faithlinks Agro-Allied for the production of starch, flour using cassava commended the effort of the Federal Government in coming to the aid of small business owners in Nigeria, “it is a commendable effort by the Federal Government. I strongly belief in this project because I know some people who are beneficiaries of this project. I am happy to be part of this sincere effort of government and I will do everything possible to ensure that this effort in me when materialized, yield its desired fruits in my business. I really thank and commend President Muhammadu Buhari for implementing this project”.

In his view, this writer who also a participant believes that a new dawn has come to Nigeria because according to him, “economy of developed countries are run by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) operators and now that Nigeria is borrowing a leave from it, in the next five years, Nigeria economy will experience a boomerang in its strictest sense of it. Federal Government is looking at 20 per cent upward increase, but I promise you that the increase would be in it exponential dimension because if unexpected comes into you, the sky is not even your limit. Naturally, Nigerians are very hard working people with nothing in the hands, tell me if you put something meaningful in the hands of the person that succeeded with nothing, what do you thing will become of such person?”

It could be recalled that over the years small business owners in Nigeria have been struggling to get their businesses on track in view of hash economy and other social challenges such as family, social and other challenges that mounted undue pressure and negatively affected the progress of their outfits.

To curb these challenges, the Government of Nigeria who continually emphasized the importance of diversifying the economy, supporting sectors that have potential for growth and creating massive employment. In line with this commitment, the Government has sought and obtained the World Bank’s partnership to help Nigeria support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) operating in different high potential sectors throughout the country. This support is being implemented under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) and operationalized in the Growth and Employment (GEM) Project.

The GEM Project Development Objective, Century Newsfront understands that it is to increase firm growth and employment in participating firms in Nigeria. The project became effective in July 2013, and will close in September 2018.  The project focuses on manufacturing and service sectors, specifically supporting ICT, entertainment, tourism and hospitality, light manufacturing (and agro-processing industries) and construction.

In a bit to march commitment with relevant action, the federal government launched the BIG portal Platform. The the BIG portal Platform is an interactive transaction-enabled web portal, which serves as the primary means of interaction between the GEM project and potential beneficiaries. The objective of the BIG Platform is to provide an easy-to-use and interactive platform for participating firms to access the following services, for FREE: 1. Access online materials and undergo online training courses 2. Register for in-class training courses. These training programs include financial management, business plan development, human resource management, etc as well as industry-specific training as recommended by professionals from your industry 3. Apply for the Consulting services. This links registered participants to consulting firms selected by their team. Examples of consulting services provided to firm include the development of a marketing strategy, assessment and optimization of key value chains, development of a robust reporting and forecasting system, development of processes to manage risk and fraud.

This writer believes that the project if sustained will increase the GDP of Nigeria, thereby apart from increasing employment in the country to the teaming young graduates, has the potentiality of making Nigeria regain her lost glory as giant of Africa. True to his word, President Buhari while launching the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP, 2017-2020) recently in Abuja noted, “Our aim simply put, is to optimize local content and empower local businesses. We seek not just to take the Nigerian economy out of recession but to place it on a path of sustained, inclusive and diversified growth”.

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