By Racheal Ishaya
In its effort to promote the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Federal Government plans to reward industrialists, who have distinguished themselves in the sector.
The Vice Chairman, MSMEs Awards, Mr Monday Ewans, who made the plan known at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, said that the awards would hold on Aug. 1, 2019.
Ewans added that the awards, which will hold in Abuja, would be cash-backed.
According to him, the awards will be in 12 categories namely: MSME of the Year; Young MSME of the Year; Most Friendly MSME State; Creative Arts; as well as Agriculture and Manufacturing,
Others are Excellence in Technology Innovation; Fashion and Style; Leather Works; Furniture and Wood Works; Beauty; Wellness and Cosmetics; as well as Non-Profit Service to Humanity.
He listed the criteria for the awards to include: Outstanding Business Concept,; Locally Produced Goods; Use of Local Technology; and Tax Compliance among others
“The MSME of the Year will attract a cash price of N2 million and a brand new SUV, while the awardees in the other categories will get N1 million and laptops each.
“The National MSMEs Award is an offshoot of the MSMEs Clinic, which has been held in at least 23 states across the country and the FCT.
“The MSME Clinic is a project of the Office of the Vice President, which brings together key government agencies to remove those factors hindering MSME growth and productivity in the country.
“The Clinic is in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria Export-Import Bank, and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control,’’ he said.
He added that the platform for intending participants to register would go live on Tuesday, adding that registrations shall be done on www.nationalmsmeawards.com.ng
He stressed that all participants must be 18 and above, be Nigerians with businesses in Nigeria and utilising local contents as well as employing people and impacting the economy, while also having the required certificates and clearance.
Responding to questions from newsmen, representatives from NAFDAC, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) all stressed that they had a 50 per cent registration fees slash for MSMEs.
The encourages all entrepreneurs who do not have the relevant certificates to come forward and do so personally, stressing that it was cheaper to obtain such certificates than many people think.