Govt to expand participating agencies in NEDEP

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By Naomi Uzor

THE Federal Government in a bid to develop and promote the activities of MSMEs, has expanded the number of the participating agencies in Nigeria Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP).

Disclosing this at the opening ceremony of the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair with the theme: “Promoting Public Partnership as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development”, the Minister of state, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, said the participating agencies now includes Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Investment Commission (NIPC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), adding that, this is a pragmatic effort to tackle constraints experienced by MSMEs.

PRESENTATION: From left: Executive Director, Small and Medium Enterprises, Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, Director-General, CPC, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and the Director-General, SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Umar Masari during the public presentation of the new National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the unveiling of the results of the 2013 National MSMEs survey at Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja.

Employment generation

Abubakar who was represented by the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, said Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can lead to greater utilisation of local raw materials, employment generation, encouragement of rural development and building capacity of entrepreneurs.

She stated: “By the mobilisation of local savings, linkages with bigger industries we can attain regional balance. It should be noted that the vast majority of developed and developing countries rely on dynamism, resourcefulness and risk taking of small and medium enterprises to trigger and sustain process of economic growth.”

The minister also disclosed that President Buhari has approved the establishment of a Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), to address issues associated with ease of doing business in Nigeria so as to review and remove all encumbrances to trade facilitation. “With this in place we hope to achieve a reduction in the cost of doing business in Nigeria. Other areas of reforms will include improved efficiency in business registration, entry process including visa reforms, land reforms registrations, contract agreements etc,’’ she said.

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