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Germany boosts Nigeria’s entrepreneurship with €20m

by Business News Report

German Agency for International Corporation, GIZ has earmarked 20 million Euro to boost the Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, MSMEsf for the next three years. GIZ Country Director, Mr. Thomas Kirsch made this yesterday while announcing the second phase of the Pro-poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria programme, SEDIN, in Abuja.

Kirsch said the funds, allocated by the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation, BMZ for a three extension until March 2017, would be particularly spent on agricultural sector and other value chains like housing and energy, among others.

He informed that the programme, which would also cover vocational training in different trades, works at the federal, states and local levels, especially in Niger, Ogun and Plateau States.

The director recalled that GIZ had been supporting Nigeria in its business environment reforms through funding of SEDIN in the past 10 years with the aim of increasing income and employment with MSMEs through financial sector reform, value chain development and economic integration.

Also, the Head of SEDIN Programme, Mr. Christian Widmann said the said SEDIN would continue to partner with various public and private sector stakeholders at all levels of government in order to increase its focus on addressing the needs of MSMEs.

Widmann said this would be done four areas of the programme interventions like supporting financial system development, improving enabling business environment, trade policy and facilitation; and value chain promotion.

He listed objectives of the programme as sustainable economic development; renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable cocoa business; competitive African rice initiative, and support of economic integration into ECOWAS.

He explained that the financial system development unit of the programme’s approach would improve the regulatory environment for microfinance, and activities to foster financial literacy and consumer protection in the financial sector.

Widmann added that the business enabling environment reforms would enhance the regulatory and institutional environment for MSMEs at local, state and federal levels while trade and facilitation would reduce administrative hurdles to domestic and intra-regional trade by removing physical barriers and supporting border management reforms as well as promoting Nigerian exports into ECOWAS sub-region, among others.

He further stressed that the value chain promotion would help to diversify the economy and enable the programme to ascertain the effects of the reforms promoted in all four units and design reforms in line with value chains-specific target group needs.

According to him, the programme adopts an integral capacity development approach at the interfaces between the public and private as well as between the real and the financial sector.

In his remarks, president of Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, NASME, Alhaji Ibrahim Garba Gusau advised operators in the private sector to consider the sector as the main engine for the nation’s economic growth.

While underscoring the importance of the sector as the major facilitator of Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, he urged the federal government to give more priority attention its development for additional jobs creation in the country.

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