Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the Corporate Affairs Commission to extend by three months, the special window for MSMEs to register businesses at 50 per cent discount.
Osinbajo gave the directive today at the first quarter MSMEs stakeholder meeting held at the Presidential Villa, encouraged by the successes recorded when the policy first came into force last year.
The special business name registration window of 50% discount was granted by the Federal Government through the Corporate Affairs Commission to help to bring as many MSMEs to formalise their businesses.
The Vice President also directed the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to speedily harmonise issues relating to overlapping responsibilities for product registration.
In the same vein, Prof. Osinbajo directed relevant government agencies to speedily come up with better funding strategies for small businesses in the country.
“Having listened to all the issues raised in the report and from your various contributions about funding, I think you should come up with suggestions on better funding for startups and MSMEs. We need to address this issue as quickly as possible,” he said.
He said relevant agencies of government must ensure that loan beneficiaries were equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to better manage their businesses.
Prof. Osinbajo urged regulators in the MSMEs sector to leverage technology to help build capacity for owners of small enterprises as well as broaden the impact of their interventions.
The Vice President solicited the support of the relevant agencies for the Shared Facilities project for MSMEs which has already commenced in locations across the country.
Earlier, a presentation on the National MSMEs Clinics indicated that the clinics have been held in 23 states of the federation while One-Stop-Shops have been established in seven cities and shared facilities built in Oyo and Bauchi states.
The report also indicated that business registration increased from 54,000 to 163,000 within six months of introducing the special window for subsidised registration costs.
The Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Kayode Pitan emphasized the need for MSMEs to establish a company to de-risk BOI loans to MSMEs.
He said the organisation was working in partnership with the Development Bank of Nigeria to enhance access to finance for MSMEs by providing a guarantee for commercial banks.
The meeting was attended by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu, and heads of relevant agencies in the MSMEs sector including the BOI, Federal Inland Revenue Service, NEXIM Bank, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Development Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Bank of Agriculture, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, and NAFDAC.