In fulfilment of its mandate to significantly spur Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, the Federal Government says it had launched a one-stop shop in Plateau State and intends to launch more across the country.
This is to facilitate smoother government regulations and interface between entrepreneurs and agencies like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and others.
A statement from the Office of the Vice President on Monday, signed off by his media aide, Laolu Akande, said the first one-stop shop was launched in Jos, Plateau State on August 24, 2017 and would be housed by the Plateau State Micro-Finance Development Agency (PLASMEDA).
States next in line include Abia, Cross River, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Kano, Benue and the FCT. While these states are slated for September and October, more of the one-stop shops are expected to be launched in other states before the end of the year.
The agencies to be housed in the One-Stop Shops include the Bank of Industry (BoI), Bank of Agriculture (BoA), CAC, FIRS, SON, NAFDAC, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
He explained that while the MSMEs clinics, which has already held in several states provide an on the spot opportunity for entrepreneurs and local producers in the MSME level to interact with regulatory agencies, “the One-Stop Shop creates an ongoing opportunity in a permanent location to achieve the same purpose.”
“The One-Stop Shop programme is part of the on-going Nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Clinics for Viable Enterprises (MSME Clinics) initiated by the Presidency in January 2017, and is aimed at providing a platform for convenient, continuous and easy interactions between regulatory agencies and MSMEs doing business in Nigeria,” Akande explained.
The One Stop-Shop will also be a one-stop destination housing representatives of key government agencies under one roof where members of the public, entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, can visit to engage with these agencies, make enquiries, report complaints and receive information that can boost their business plans and ideas.
The MSMEs Clinics, an initiative of the Buhari administration was designed to give small businesses the opportunity to meet with the industry regulators and get on the spot solutions to their problems in an effort to spur local production and harness the nation’s export potential in the process.
At the launch of the Katsina State’s MSMEs Clinic in Katsina in May, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the MSMEs clinics were the Buhari administration’s effort to bridge the gap between MSMEs and relevant FG regulatory agencies, like NAFDAC, CAC, BoI, FIRS and others and ensure that those agencies become facilitators of businesses, not obstacles to business development.
“The evidence is that over the years government and its agencies are seen more as an obstacle, a hindrance rather than a facilitator, and this is across all arms of government; the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. We have talked extensively about the executive and about the problems that people have interacting with the executive agencies but so it is with the Judiciary as well,” he said.