RELIEVING MSMES’ FINANCIAL BURDENS, FG OPENS 5TH SHARED FACILITY IN EDO, AFTER BENUE, LAGOS, ANAMBRA & IMO
*Next: Kebbi, Kaduna, Ekiti, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Katsina, Kano, Ogun, others in 2022
*VP Osinbajo commissions Furniture Facility in Benin, commends “industrious people of Edo State”
In line with its initiative to persistently provide support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has restated the Buhari Administration’s determination to provide a more friendly regulatory environment for small businesses nationwide and so deepen the growth of the economy.
Supporting and ensuring the growth of MSMEs nationwide is a major reason why the Federal Government has so far, held MSMEs Clinics in 29 States Prof. Osinbajo says today while commissioning the fifth Shared Facility center in the country for small businesses. The Edo facility is focused on the furniture manufacturing sector.
According to him, “Shared Facilities provide MSME clusters with machinery that different businesses can use or rent for short periods. In addition to convenience and access to the latest equipment, this arrangement also spares them the financial burden of having to purchase vital equipment on their own.”
Earlier this week on Tuesday, the VP had commissioned the fourth Shared Facility in Imo State, comprising 200 world-class manual and fully automated fashion equipment.
“MSMEs are a priority for the Buhari Administration because they are an engine of growth for the economy and because they account for almost half of national income and three-quarters of jobs,” the VP emphasized.
He further noted that the “facility is equipped with state-of-the-art machines and equipment, which when used to full capacity, can produce over 250 furniture items daily including doors, dining sets, credenzas and cabinets.”
Prof. Osinbajo urged MSMEs in Edo State within the furniture producing space to take full advantage of the facility to further improve their production.
Explaining the Federal Government’s Shared Facilities initiative under its National MSMEs Clinic Scheme, the Vice President said Government aims to provide at least one Shared Facility in every State of the Federation, to help MSMEs access world-class equipment to increase their production and quality at lower costs.
“In the course of running the Clinics, we noticed that in addition to their requests for a more friendly regulatory environment, MSMEs also wanted to be supported in terms of production facilities which were lacking or too expensive.”
Prof. Osinbajo recalled how Edo State had hosted the 16th National MSME Clinics in June, 2018, and the Federal Government’s collaboration with the State Government to establish the MSMEs Shared Facility in the State.
Commending Governor Godwin Obaseki and his team for the partnership and dedication towards the entire process, the VP noted that, “in addition to providing a suitable location, the State Government also provided the workspace to house the equipment,” the VP stated.
He disclosed that “on the Federal side, MSME partners such as the Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank, NAFDAC, SON, ITF, Raw Materials and Research Development Council and the Private Sector came together with the Edo State Government which provided and renovated this premises.”
Prof. Osinbajo also said it was notable that the State Government was considering replicating furniture manufacturing clusters across some of its Technical Colleges.
“This would be very welcome as it underscores the real essence of this Shared Facility. It is our expectation that once a Shared Facility is commissioned, the State then expands the availability of such facilities for the benefits of our many industrious MSMEs,” he stated.
Apart from the new one commissioned today in Edo State, the other Shared Facilities are located in:
* Benue (200,000 capacity Yam Storage facility, Zaki Biam International Yam Market);
*Lagos (Eko MSME Fashion Hub 1 (one) which services about 300 tailors and fashion designers daily;
*The Anambra State Facility is in Ogbunike, Oyi, it is a shoemaking facility with industrial equipment and machines within close proximity of the Anambra shoe-makers;
*Imo State Shared Facility in Owerri, which is dedicated to fashion and comprises 200 world class manual and fully automated fashion equipment.
Pointing out that the Shared Facility being commissioned today is among the several that would be built across all States of the Federation, the Vice President restated plans to commission the next Shared Facilities in eight other States: Kaduna, Kebbi, Ogun, Ebonyi, Kano, Katsina, Ekiti and Bauchi.
The planned Shared Facilities in these States would cater for various segments of the MSMEs sector, including agriculture, textile production and fashion design, footwear and leather works.
The Vice President, who extended “President Muhammadu Buhari’s warm regards to the government and industrious people of Edo State,” commended the MSME partners and agencies for their contribution in birthing the project.
“It is also our expectation that our MSME partners will ensure that final products from here meet global standards and are fit for export to the rest of the world,” he added.
Prof. Osinbajo further noted that “as it is with other Shared Facilities commissioned, this Shared Facility will be run by a competent private sector firm while the Federal and State Governments keep a constant eye on its activities to ensure it achieves its set objectives.”
In his remarks, Edo State Governor Obaseki thanked the Federal Government and Vice President for supporting development initiatives in the State.
Later today after the commissioning of the Facility, the VP also attended the graduation of Edo State Government Tech Park where Governor Godwin Obaseki commended the Vice President for sowing the seed that has produced the take-off of the Park.
Also, the VP performed the laying of the foundation for the permanent site of the Park. There Governor Obaseki told the VP that “three years ago when you gave us the first innovation hub in the South-South, that mustard seed you sowed that day is what you saw at the take-off campus of the Tech Park, which you visited and met the first set of graduands. And that deed is what has brought us here this afternoon and has germinated to reflect where we want to be as a people.”
Besides the Vice President and the Governor, today’s events were also witnessed by the Deputy Governor of Edo State Comrade Philip Shaibu and the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba who accompanied the Vice President to Edo State.
▪︎ By ‘Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity , Office of the Vice President