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VP Shettima champions economic renaissance: Unveils unwavering commitment to protect and propel Nigerian SMEs



VP Shettima champions economic renaissance: Unveils unwavering commitment to protect and propel Nigerian SMEs

In a resounding declaration of the federal government’s dedication to safeguarding and empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Vice President Kashim Shettima asserted that under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s leadership, the commitment to bolster businesses in Nigeria remains unshakeable. This proclamation came to light as the Vice President inaugurated the corporate headquarters of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Abuja.


A pledge to fortify the economic pillars


Vice President Shettima, addressing a gathering on Wednesday, emphasized the pivotal role that enterprises play in shaping society and serving as a barometer for the government’s trajectory. He underscored the strategic focus of the Tinubu administration on job creation, capital accessibility, economic growth, and poverty eradication as the cornerstones of a comprehensive strategy to revamp the nation’s economy.


“This moment solidifies His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s assurance to protect our enterprises,” stated VP Shettima, linking the protection of businesses to the broader economic revitalization plan. “His focus on job creation, capital accessibility, economic growth, and poverty eradication forms the very skeleton of our strategy to invigorate the economy. Inevitably, this path demands tough decisions, yet ones essential to our success.”


Unveiling a transformative partnership


Vice President Shettima took the opportunity to recall the recent inauguration of the National MSME Council, positioning it as just the starting point for the transformative journey ahead. He delved into the mechanisms through which President Tinubu aims to ensure the prosperity of businesses and economic enterprises in the country.


Highlighting a significant stride, Shettima disclosed a groundbreaking partnership with the Bank of Industry to unveil a N75 billion, 9% interest loan accessible to Nigerian MSMEs starting January 2024. This initiative, he explained, is geared towards fostering a more conducive and enabling business environment for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.


A vision for global recognition


The Vice President articulated the government’s ambition to cultivate an ecosystem where Nigerian businesses become regular features in globally recognized publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times for positive reasons. He spoke of the government’s commitment not just to boast talents but to champion those dedicated to ensuring that business owners have front-row seats in the nation’s journey towards progress.


“We are all well aware that Mr. President’s readiness to take action has never faltered, and what we are witnessing here is just a component of the strategies in place to create a future brimming with endless opportunities,” declared VP Shettima.


Recognition and transformation


Congratulating the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, and the leadership of SMEDAN, Vice President Shettima commended their transformative efforts, turning concepts into tangible actions. He conveyed optimism, stating, “This initiative renews hope for a critical segment of our entrepreneurial community, and highlights our sensitivity to the economic clock of the nation.”


Acknowledging achievements and collaboration


In her remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr Uzoka-Anite, expressed gratitude to Vice President Shettima for his unwavering support to MSMEs in the country. She portrayed the completion and commissioning of the new SMEDAN Complex as a clear demonstration of the commitment of the Tinubu administration to the development of the MSME space.


Outlining other initiatives of the federal government, Dr. Uzoka-Anite shared plans targeted at building capacity and linking MSMEs to markets both domestically and abroad. The collaborative efforts between government agencies and the private sector underscored a comprehensive approach to fostering growth and sustainability in the SME sector.


Visionary leadership in MSME space


Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii, expressed gratitude to the Vice President for his support and guidance in the actualization of the project. He lauded the agency and the entire MSME community in Nigeria for recording significant achievements within a short period under the leadership of VP Shettima. Odii assured that the agency would continue to collaborate with sister organizations to ensure sustainable growth in the sector.


Dignitaries and collaborative commitments


The event, attended by distinguished dignitaries including senators and ministers, highlighted the collective commitment to fortifying Nigeria’s economic resilience. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industry, Trade, and Investment, Sen. Fadahunsi Anthony; Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Sen. Asuquo Ekpenyong; Chairman of the House Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises, Hon. Mansur Manu Soro; Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr Evelyn Ngige, were among those present.


The collaborative efforts showcased at the event signified a united front in addressing the challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria. The coming together of government agencies, parastatals, and legislative bodies underscored the shared responsibility of fostering an environment conducive to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.


A future of opportunities


In concluding the momentous event, the government officials, industry leaders, and stakeholders left with a sense of optimism. The vision outlined by Vice President Shettima, coupled with the concrete initiatives and partnerships announced, painted a future brimming with opportunities for the nation’s small and medium-sized enterprises.


As the government forges ahead with its commitment to protecting and propelling SMEs, the hope is that this pivotal moment will mark the beginning of a transformative journey, not just for businesses but for the entire economic landscape of Nigeria. With the unwavering resolve expressed by Vice President Shettima, the nation seems poised to usher in an era where Nigerian enterprises shine on the global stage for all the right reasons.

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