• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Experts seek enforcement of executive orders on locally manufactured goods

Experts seek enforcement of executive orders on locally manufactured goods

… as ASBON awards Sanwo-Olu SME Most Friendly Governor

The Federal Government has been urged to enforce the provision of executive orders 003 and 005 targeted at growing domestic production through the patronage of locally produced goods.

This was disclosed recently during the fourth National SME Business Awards (NNSBA) in Lagos.

Executive order 003 states that all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers, in their procurement of goods and services.

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Executive Order 005 directs all MDAs to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects and maximise in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with science, technology and engineering components.

Muda Yusuf, founder of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), said the government’s pronouncement should be monitored and if there is any violation it should be escalated and necessary sanctions carried out.

Yusuf lamented that the difficulty in getting bank guarantees usually requested by the Bank of Industry (BOI) from potential loan seekers has become counter-productive and something urgent needs to be done to address the issue.

Bimbo Ashiru, said the SME sector is the most important factor in the world, presenting over 80 percent of businesses in the world.

He said Nigeria doesn’t have any business to be an importing economy, noting that the resources are there for the country to be self-sufficient.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Femi Egbesola, president of the Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), said the event was organised to celebrate SMEs enablers for their support and to celebrate them.

Egbesola added that those who have shown support for the SMEs ecosystem deserve to be recognised for their relentless efforts.

In her keynote address, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Lagos State, said the MSME sector is the undisputed backbone of the Nigerian economy, which plays a crucial role in driving the economic growth by contributing significantly to employment and income generation, poverty reduction, and wealth redistribution.

Represented by Olugbenga Aina, permanent secretary in the ministry, she said there are over 39 MSMEs in Nigeria, employing over 80 percent of the country’s population.

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Citing data from NBS, she noted that the sector contributes 48 percent to the gross domestic product, noting that Lagos is home to most MSME operators in the country.

“Therefore, supporting the growth and development of MSMEs is crucial for fostering inclusive economic growth, and enhancing overall prosperity in Nigeria,” she noted.

Similarly, Adebola Sofela, Ogun State commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the SMEs form the backbone of the nation’s economic landscape, driving innovation, creating employment opportunities, and fostering sustainable development across various sectors, hence deserve the unwavering commitment at all times.

Sofela, who was represented by Kehinde Akintomide, said the event serves as a testament to the government’s unwavering commitment to supporting and empowering SMEs.

“Through various initiatives, policies, and interventions, we are dedicated to creating an enabling environment that fosters the growth and prosperity of Small and Medium Enterprises.”

“Whether through access to finance, capacity-building programs, or market linkages, we remain steadfast in our resolve to provide the necessary support for SMEs to thrive and succeed.”

“As we celebrate the achievements of SMEs at the NNSBA 2024, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to supporting and empowering entrepreneurs across Nigeria. Together, we can create an ecosystem that fosters innovation, drives economic prosperity, and unlocks the full potential of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in our nation.”

The peak of the event was the presentation of awards to deserving Nigerians by ASBON. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos was awarded SME Most Friendly Governor of the Year.

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Visa Nigeria was awarded the SME Best Payment Card Network Processor of the Year award and Providus Bank won the SME Most Friendly New Generation Bank of the Year award, among others.