Northern Nigerian Breaking News

4m MSMEs benefit from FG’s N150b schemes — Osinbajo


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says more than four million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefitted from Federal Government’s N150 billion schemes.

Osinbajo’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president disclosed this in his keynote address delivered at the Bank of Industry (BOI) Aid for Productivity report launch.

The report chronicled the development, impact, and future of the BOI’s Growth Platform, which is the human and technology infrastructure used to drive multiple large-scale intervention programmes for micro, small and medium enterprises.

MSMEs sector accounts for close to 50 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP and 76 per cent of the country’s labour force.

The vice president said that  the success of the BOI Growth Platform was the story of “the Nigerian can-do spirit and the entrepreneurial DNA we carry.”

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Read Also:AfDB to support tech-based MSMEs with $500m -Osinbajo

According to him, the report 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.”

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.

Others are the MSME Survival Fund under the Economic Sustenability Plan (ESP), the North-East Rehabilitation Fund, the recently launched World Bank 750 million dollars NG-CARES programme, and state-based interventions.

“This demographic was far too important to ignore.

“We had to start solving for them, especially having been left far behind historically a reason that 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 MSMEs have been direct beneficiaries of the over N150 billion deployed in the past five years.”

He said that 57 per cent of the MSMEs were owned by Nigerians below 35 years of age, and close to 60 per cent of the beneficiaries were women.

Read Also:FG announces date to change MSMEs survival fund portal

According to him, 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.

The vice president also commended the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, as well as the BOI Growth Platform team led by its Executive Director, BOI, Toyin Adeniji, with Uzoma Nwagba as its Chief Operating Officer.

According to Osinbajo, they have brought to bear the best of experience and bold thinking, the depths of innovation and youth, and a detailed understanding of the Nigerian spirit, to build an operation and impact that have become a national pride.

“Adeniji and Nwagba are the co-authors of the “Aid for Productivity” report, which they formally presented at the launch,” he said.

The vice president also applauded pioneering partners, particularly the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for providing the much-needed early support to BOI Bank  to build the operation to the  present large scale.

In his remarks, Pitan restated the impact of the programmes.

Pitan said that programmes such as GEEP had won several local and international awards, including the award at the 2019 African Bankers’ Awards as the most impactful Financial Inclusion programme in Africa

The event also featured closing remarks by representatives of BOI partners, including Mr Ahmed Rostom, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank; and the country director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Jeremie Zoungrana.(NAN)

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