Osinbajo: how Nigeria can match advanced world

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has a well-structured small and medium scale industry was the way to go if the economy must be developed and catch up with the advanced world.

Osinbajo spoke  yesterday during a  briefing session in his office in Abuja by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), led by its Director-General, Alhaji Bature Masari.

He said: “No country develops without vibrant small and medium enterprises. It is the base for commerce and industry. We need to scale up. We must design a strategy that allows us to create an impact with the people. This is what the big nations of the world are doing. Naturally, Nigerians have commercial inclinations. The problem is the absence of capacity building. People have ideas, but cannot execute these ideas, some are even lacking in bookkeeping.

“If we can focus on the market women, for instance, and help them build their businesses by training them and arming them with basic business skills, there will be impact, and a positive effect on their value chain.

“We need to focus on the underserved, so that a robust economy can be created. We have 110 million extremely poor people in Nigeria. Take a look at the artisans. We can give them vocational training, which can lead to a certification process and in turn improve their businesses and lives. After which, they can hire more hands and get others out of poverty as well. We need people-oriented focus.”

Masari outlined the plans of SMEDAN to attract more investment and funding to the SMEs and the frustrations it had encountered. One of them was advising the past administrations to set aside certain taxes on imported items to be used to fund local SMEs.

The Vice President also received the executive members of the Northern Reawakening Forum, led by its Chairman, Mohammed Kumalia. The Forum leaders said they were visiting the Vice President because he had shown deep concern for the victims of the insurgency in the Northeast and had visited and interacted with them.

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