Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has revealed the various interventions by the Federal Government aimed at assisting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector.
Osinbajo made this call on Monday, January 24, in his keynote address at the Bank of Industry (BOI) Aid for Productivity report launch; chronicling the development, impact, as well as future of the BOI’s Growth Platform.
This is the human and technology infrastructure used to drive multiple large-scale intervention programmes for micro, small and medium enterprises.
The VP stated that beyond providing interest-free microcredit loans to petty traders; the various social intervention schemes of the Buhari administration; have made a significant impact on the lives of millions of ordinary Nigerians.
According to Osinbajo, the government in furtherance of its determination to boost economic growth has also ramped up its support for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, which accounts for close to 50% of Nigeria’s GDP and 76% of the country’s labour force.
More importantly, the VP noted was the fact that the success of the BOI Growth Platform was the story of “the Nigerian can-do spirit; and the entrepreneurial DNA we carry.”
“This is a shining case study of what President Muhammadu Buhari strongly believes: that Nigerians will solve Nigeria’s problems. This is an example of what we can achieve when we unleash the best of our people; especially our young – on the toughest of our challenges, and give them the free-hand to deliver results,” he added.
The BOI Growth Platform includes interventions schemes such as the renowned Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) loans (MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni) – regarded as Africa’s largest fully-digitized micro-credit scheme; the MSME Survival Fund under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), the North-East Rehabilitation Fund; the recently launched World Bank $750 million NG-CARES programme; as well as state-based interventions, among others.
Osinbajo said, “this demographic was far too important to ignore. We had to start solving for them; especially having been left far behind historically,” a reason he noted; led to the implementation of intervention schemes through the BOI’s Growth Platform for MSMEs.
“What might also not be obvious is the sheer scale of impact that has been achieved with these programmes; as over four million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have been direct beneficiaries of the over N150billion deployed in the past five years.”
He added that “57% of these MSMEs are owned by Nigerians below 35 years of age; and close to 60% of the beneficiaries are women. What is even less glaring is that the team of Nigerian professionals; behind this work is largely young, with an average age of 28 years old.”