Southwestern Governor wins Best MSME State Award 2022

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L-R: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Gov. Dapo Abiodun and Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha during the presentation of the Award of Best State in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Policy Support for the Year 2022 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday (Source; Nigerian News Direct)

The Federal Government has awarded Prince Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State, as the best governor in the category of Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises.

Speaking at the award event in Abuja, Prince Abiodun emphasized the significance of MSMEs in the industrialization process and the many initiatives put in place to support their expansion in the State.

According the the governor, “In the continued implementation of the Building our Future Together Agenda, our Administration has established the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency that provides much-needed support and capacity building to the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the bedrock of any economy.

“The Agency facilitates the development of MSMEs through Business Development Services, Access to Market, Access to Fund and similar services. It also assists in the facilitation of all available intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and monitor compliance with all requirements in order to achieve its objectives.

“We have carried out disbursement of livelihood grants to 2,094 women in the state to boost their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operations. In specific terms, we have done empowerment and Capacity building through the OKoowo Dapo Scheme of 500 female entrepreneurs across the state to enable them access financing and scale up their businesses; empowerment of 2,500 rural women across the state through provision of products worth N100m; empowerment of over 600 youths through vocational training while 400 women and youths are still undergoing training at the Vocation training centre under the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; empowerment of 95 Women across the three senatorial districts and more than 100 widows in commemoration of the International Widows Day.”

Regarding steps his administration has taken to make doing business easier, Governor Abiodun noted that the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency has been reorganized to give investors a one-stop shop where they can learn about the State’s natural and solid mineral resources, business opportunities, and the necessary support systems.

The State Land Administration and Revenue Management Service (OLARMS), community relations, statutory documentation, and connections with suppliers, particularly farmers through the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme, are all part of the facilitation, the Governor noted, adding that over 40,000 agri-preneurs have been created as a result of the process.

He claimed that as part of the industrial revolution, his administration wanted to empower small businesses and develop Micro, Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), which would pave the way for a sustainable economic growth and, in turn, lead to the creation of jobs, the reduction of poverty, and food security.

More than 3,844 entrepreneurs from all over the State attended several MSMEs Business Clinics, he said, and the main goal of the clinics was to create a venue where relevant Enterprises development partners, like CAC, NAFDAC, SON, Financial Institutions R&D Institutes, and Entrepreneurship Development Institutions (EDIs), would provide details on services important to entrepreneurs as well as opportunities for on-the-spot services.

The governor emphasized that his administration was constantly improving and rehabilitating the roads leading to the industrial hubs and the inner roads, as well as developing the State Masterplan and designating industrial hubs with the provision of power. This was done by leveraging the gas pipeline that runs through the state.

Prince Abiodun urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the State and emphasized that harmonisation of taxes and levies to eliminate multiplicity and ensure ease of self-assessment and payment had been completed, while there is routine interaction between the industry and academia to strengthen the curriculum and equip the graduates of tertiary institutions with the necessary competencies required by the development of MSMEs.

Abiodun noted that Ogun State E-Procurement Portal has been created for Contractors/Vendors registration targeted at providing more MSMEs bid for Government contracts, emphasising that they would also be provided with free registration for MSMEs with Contracts below N20Million, as details of contracts awarded to MSMEs would be made available on the portal to increase MSME Participation.

Specifically, he said, in the development of infrastructure and the exploitation of the State’s natural and mineral resources, which have been proven to exist in commercial quantities, the State has enacted laws establishing a viable and autonomous PPP Unit, which lays out the procedure and guidelines for all private sector partnership engagements like joint ventures, concessions, and strategic alliances.

The Governor thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to revive the country’s economy and the federal government for supporting the State in its developmental efforts. He added that the Award would further encourage his administration to scale up activities on the Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises and actively engage them in a sustainable way to keep growing.

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