By Efese O. Jim
The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is committed to the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state through the establishment of an industrial park that will provide power for MSMEs to thrive and compete with their counterparts across the world.
He said this while delivering his goodwill message at the Stakeholders Dialogue on MSME Development and Implementation of the National MSME Policy in Edo State, organized by the Small Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in collaboration with the Edo State Ministry of Business, Trade and Cooperatives (MBTC), Edo State Skills Development Agency (Edojobs) with support from Pro-poor Growth and Promotion of Empowerment in Nigeria-SEDIN Programme, Government House in Benin City.
Obaseki, who was represented by the Commissioner of Trade, Business, and Cooperatives, Afishetu Braimoh, said the harmonious working relationship between the State Ministry of Business, Trade, and Cooperatives and the State’s Skills Development Agency has increased the opportunities available to MSMEs to thrive in the State.
According to him, the Edo State Ministry of Business, Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives and the Edo State Skills Development Agency have worked together to propagate the development of MSMEs, providing youths with opportunities for skills acquisition, self-employment, and facilitating the growth of enterprises across different sectors of the state’s economy.
The Governor emphasised that there is no gainsaying that MSMEs are the engine of a thriving economy as they remain the largest employers of labour and serve as the fulcrum for the service and productive sectors.
He added that it is for this reason that his administration has designed programs and initiatives that will ensure that MSMEs flourish in the state.
Obaseki further said that the Edo State Government has actively facilitated the disbursement of credit facilities to MSMEs across key focus areas in the state to ensure the sustenance of businesses and urged the participating MSMEs in the fair to take advantage of the opportunity to showcase their products, services, innovations and leverage the platform provided to market themselves with the objective of expanding their businesses.
Earlier, the Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Efe Iserhienrhien, said, “We are a ministry that appreciates what SMEDAN and GIZ are doing in promoting MSMEs in the State, as the Edo State Government is presently developing an MSME policy and we will continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to put Edo MSMEs on the world map.”
In his goodwill message, Markus Wauschkuhn (Head of Programme, GIZ-SEDIN), represented by Akinropo Omoware (GIZ-SEDIN’s Head of Policy), said the Pro-poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria-SEDIN Programme (including the Nigeria Competitiveness Project – NICOP, funded by the European Union) is one of GIZ’s programmes in Nigeria.
The programme’s overall objective is to improve the employment and income situation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
To achieve the overall objective, SEDIN is working with private and public institutions to improve the framework conditions, business enabling environment, and policies favouring MSMEs, employment, and local economic development.
In line with this, the programme has been working with MSME support agencies at the federal and state levels to strengthen Nigeria’s MSME support ecosystem.
Under this partnership, the SEDIN programme is supporting SMEDAN to organise stakeholders’ engagement in five SEDIN-supported states to strengthen the collaboration among different actors in the MSME development ecosystem in the states and also enhance the implementation of the National MSME Policy in the states.
Other notable speakers at the event include the Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr Kelvin Uwaibi and Segun Majekodunmi, Head of Entrepreneurship, Edo State Skills Development Agency.