The Federal Government has called on Nigerian Entrepreneurs to take advantage of its various laudable programmes on Small and Medium Scale Enterprise, SMEs, to enhance their productivity.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum made the call in Abuja while receiving a delegation from the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum, NEF and the Organization of Women in International Trade, OWIT Nigeria
Amb. Mariam said the present administration had put in place various programmes which include Export Expansion Grant, EEG, SMEs Survival Fund, National Diaspora Policy aimed at encouraging the growth of small scale businesses in the country.
The Minister who described SMEs as key to economic growth called for more public private sector collaboration towards developing the sector.
She advised NEF and OWIT Nigeria to take full economic advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area which commenced in January this year to enhance their business activities and boost the nation’s economy.
Amb. Mariam Katagum expressed her Ministry’s readiness to collaborate and support NEF and OWIT Nigeria in realizing their mandate most especially in the area of youth and women empowerment on small scale businesses.
In a remark, the President of Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum, NEF, Doctor Sidney Inegbedion said the Organization has over the years been providing capacity building and competency based leadership training for some Departments in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as part of its contributions to national economic development.
According to Doctor Sidney Inegbedion, NEF has also implemented effective management and leadership training towards Nigeria engagement in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA among others.
On her part, the President, Organization of Women in International Trade, OWIT, Nigeria, Blessing Irabor advised the Federal Government to strongly employ provisions in trade liberalization to advance its commitment on gender equality to further encourage the growth of small scale businesses among women
According to her, OWIT Nigeria partnership with NEF and other relevant stakeholders will seek to provide gender focused interventions that would adequately support women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.