Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been awarded the best governor in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises by the Federal Government.
Speaking at the award ceremony held in Abuja, Prince Abiodun noted the important roles of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Industrialized process, hence the various measures put in place to encourage its growth in the state
According to the governor, “in the continued implementation of the building our future together agenda, our administration has established the Ogun State Enterprise Development Agency that provides much-needed support and capacity building to the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the bedrock of any economy.
“The agency facilitates the development of MSMEs through Business Development Services, Access to Market, Access to Fund and similar services. It also assists in the facilitation of all available intervention funds from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and monitor compliance with all requirements in order to achieve its objectives.
“We have carried out disbursement of livelihood grants to 2,094 women in the state to boost their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operations. In specific terms, we have done empowerment and capacity building through the Okoowo Dapo Scheme of 500 female entrepreneurs across the state to enable them access financing and scale up their businesses; empowerment of 2,500 rural women across the state through provision of products worth ₦100m; empowerment of over 600 youths through vocational training while 400 women and youths are still undergoing training at the vocation training centre under the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; empowerment of 95 women across the three
senatorial districts and more than 100 widows in commemoration of the International Widows Day”.
On measures to improve ease of doing business, Governor Abiodun pointed that his administration has reorganized the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency to provide a truly one-stop-shop for investors to know about the natural and solid minerals resources of the state and the business opportunities, and the facilitation required to invest in the state.
The facilitation, the governor noted, includes land acquisition and ownership through the State Land Administration and Revenue Management Service (OLARMS), community relations, statutory documentation, and linkages with the suppliers, especially farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme of the Central Bank, adding that over 40,000 agri-prenuers have been produced through the process.
He said it was the desire of his administration to develop the Micro, Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSME), as part of its industrial revolution and to empower small businesses which would help in creating the path towards a sustainable economic development thereby resulting to employment generation, poverty alleviation and food security.
He noted that several MSMES Business Clinics had been held with more than 3,844 entrepreneurs across the state in attendance, saying the key objective of the Business Clinics was to create avenue where relevant enterprises development partners such as CAC, NAFDAC, SON, Financial Institutions R&D Institutes and Entrepreneurship Development Institutions (EDIs) would provide information on services relevant to entrepreneurs as well as avenues for on-the-spot services in business name registration, product registration and standardization, access to finance and market as well as registration with the Business Membership Organization.
His administration, the governor emphasized, was developing the state master plan and designation of industrial hubs with provision of power, leveraging on the gas pipeline that runs through the state just as it was constantly rehabilitating and upgrading roads leading to the industrial hubs and the inner roads.
While calling on investors to take advantage of the potential that abound in the state, Prince Abiodun stressed that harmonisation of taxes and levies to eliminate multiplicity and ensure ease of self-assessment and payment had been carried out while there is regular interface between the industry and the academia to strengthen the curricular and equip the products of tertiary institutions with the requisite competencies required by the MSME development.
Abiodun noted that Ogun State E-Procurement Portal (eprocurement.ogunstate.gov.ng), has been created for contractors/vendors registration aimed at allowing more MSMEs bid for government contracts, emphasizing that they would also be provided with free registration for MSMEs with contracts below N20m, as details of contracts awarded to MSMEs would be made available on the portal (archive.ogunstate.gov.ng; https://aprocurements.ogunstate.gov.ng) to increase MSME participation.
He said state has enacted laws establishing a viable and autonomous PPP Unit, which lays out the process and guidelines for all private sector partnership engagements like Joint Ventures, Concessions and Strategic Alliances especially in the development of infrastructure and exploitation of the State’s natural and mineral resources proven in commercial quantities.
The governor appreciated the federal government for partnering the state in its developmental efforts and President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts at revamping the nation’s economy, stating that the award would further propel his administration to scale up activities on the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises as well as proactively engaged them in a sustainable manner to keep growing.