Minister charges focal persons on strategies to improve MSMEs

According to her, the Focal Persons are expected to develop an implementation plan for issues within its organisations, remit and ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Policy.

Amb. Mariam Katagum has urged newly inaugurated Focal Persons on  strategies to improve the competitiveness of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector of the economy.
Katagum, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment gave the charge when she inaugurated the Focal Persons Group for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Monday in Abuja.
She said the aim of the Focal Persons Group was to see to the  implementation of the revised national policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (2021 – 2025).
According to her, the Focal Persons are expected to develop an implementation plan for issues within its organisations, remit and ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Policy.
The minister of state said the aim of the Focal Persons was also to track the status of the Public Private Dialogue (PPD)
 She urged them to dialogue, report on progress, achievements, issues,  support the implementation of M&E and report the challenges encountered either as an individual or an organisation in implementing the policy.
She said that the focal persons would help create awareness on the National Policy within its organisations.
According to the minister of state, the  focus of the policy is to create a platform or framework to collaboratively attend to some of the basic challenges of the MSMEs.
“This is why the Policy is focused on Finance, Skills development, Marketing, Technology, Research and Development Infrastructure and Cost of Doing Business, Institutional/Legal/Regulatory issues and awareness creation on MSMEs.
“These were areas that the Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) focused on both at the National and Zonal engagements.
“The National and Zonal Public-Private Dialogues (PPD) provided platforms to create awareness on the above Policy areas and also to prompt states that have not yet inaugurated their State Councils on MSMEs into action.
“It is believed that the needed connection between the national, regional and state actors in the implementation process has been established through the several PPDs,” she said.
Katagum, however,  said that the revised National Policy on Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs) was very ambitious and required  multi-stakeholders partnership in implementing some of the recommendations.
 She said that the mechanism also seeks to ensure that the various activities of the MDAs that border on the sub-sector were properly coordinated and reported.
She also said that the involvement of strategic MDAs and Business Membership Organisations (BMO) in developing sector-specific action plans and nomination of Focal Persons, would  certainly increase the pace of activities that would drive development of the NMSMEs sub-sector.
She commended MDAs that have realised the need to jointly develop the most critical sub-sector of the nation’s economy.
Also speaking, Mr Olawale Fasanya, the Acting. Director-  General , Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) urged enablers to ensure that Nigeria’s MSMEs sub- sector was  not just active but globally competitive.
Fasanya said  that with 39 million MSMEs, the revised National  Policy seeks to ensure MSMEs was active, innovative and globally competitive.
According to him, to ensure a minimum target is realised before the expiration of the Policy in 2025, there is the need to create an enabling environment MSMEs to thrive.
He said that the growth of MSMEs would also create employment which currently stood at over sixty  one million.
This he said that had pushed the sub- sector’s contributions to  the current  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of berween 49 per cent to 70 per cent.
Fasanya, therefore,  enjoined MDAs focal persons to foster the emergence of new MSMEs in Nigeria,  especially among women and youths, and accelerate the profitable expansion of existing MSMEs along the value chain among others.
Ms Victoria Akai , the Director -General Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry also  called  on  stakeholders and representative of MDAs to take the responsibility seriously and  ensure  successful implementation of the policy.
Akai said that the  Chamber was collaborating with SMEDAN following the joint support recieved for the development of the coordination mechanism for the implementation of the policy.
“Today demonstrates the realisation of our commitment toward the growth and development of MSMEs in Nigeria, since over 80 per cent of our membership database are MSMEs,
 “We,  therefore, are committed to promoting and supporting every initiative toward the advancement of MSMEs in Nigeria,” she said.



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