The momentum built in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector by the Buhari administration in the last seven years must be maintained given its crucial position in the economy. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this on Monday when he received members of the Made in Nigeria Project led by Mr Adedeji Alebiosu, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The group, representing a coalition of MSMEs in Nigeria, were at the Presidential Villa to commend the Federal Government and appreciate the Vice President’s support for MSMEs in the country over the past 7 years. According to Prof. Osinbajo, “we must be as determined as possible going forward in maintaining the momentum built over the years in the MSME space.
“How we sustain the MSME Clinics, how it is institutionalized in a way that the incoming Vice Presidents or Presidents are obliged to pay close attention to whatever is happening in the sector, is very important.” The Vice President then assured MSME stakeholders in the country that “we will make sure that we provide everything that is required to enable the incoming administration to step into the positions that we have created in the MSME space. We are in a very good place.” Speaking about the Made in Nigeria concept and the need to develop local capacity, the Vice President said “we must find where we fit in, in that value chain. “It is true that no economy can be entirely self-sustaining but it is important to emphasise that we have the capacity to do a lot in our country.
“What we need to do is to find our comparative advantage and develop capacity in the value chain around the manufacturing of electric vehicles, arms manufacturing etc.” Continuing, the Vice President said “there is a bigger challenge in manufacturing of items, creating jobs and wealth. So, we have got to think in terms of scale. There is a lot of real and serious work that needs to be done. What should our approach be in terms of the value chain? We are a huge economy and a huge market.” The problem people have always faced is how to engage our massive population in a meaningful way because anything you do seems like a drop in an ocean due to the enormity of the problem,” the VP added. Earlier in his remarks, Mr Alebiosu praised Prof. Osinbajo’s personal commitment and support for the growth of small businesses in the country. He acknowledged the contributions of the Vice President through key interventions supervised under his office, noting that they positively impacted small businesses in the space.
According to him, “initiatives supervised by your office such as the MSME Clinics, the Survival Fund, and the MSME Awards, among others, have positively impacted many small businesses over the years.” He said, “you have done so much in the MSME space in the country, we have never had it so good, that is why we are here today, to show gratitude for the support the Federal Government has given to MSMEs in Nigeria.” Mr Alebiosu said the visit to the VP underscored the importance of collaboration and partnership in growing the MSME space in the country. Members of the Made in Nigeria Project delegation include Director of Operations, Tosin Ashiru; Director of Special Projects, Samuel Adewale; Director of SME Engagement, Tola Ajayi and Director of Partnerships, Destiny Enakhimion.