Shettima Unveils SMEDAN Headquarters, Reiterates FG’s Commitment

Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Wednesday reiterated the commitment of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to poverty reduction and economic revitalisation.

Shettima stated this while inaugurating the corporate headquarters of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Abuja.

According to him, Tinubu’s administration is strategically focusing on job creation, capital accessibility, economic growth, and poverty eradication to revamp the economy.

Shettima said the federal government under President Tinubu’s watch would never shift ground in its determination to protect businesses in the country.

The vice president noted that enterprises are not only the very bedrock of a society but also reflect the direction the government is heading to and the speed with which it is doing so.

“Allow me to emphasise the importance of this moment: there is no more fitting time than now to reinforce the protection of enterprises in Nigeria.

“These enterprises not only stand as the very bedrock of our society but also reflect the direction the government is headed and the velocity with which we do so.

“This moment solidifies President Bola Tinubu’s assurance to protect our enterprises. It resonates deeply within our economic revitalisation plan.

“His focus on job creation, capital accessibility, economic growth, and poverty eradication forms the very skeleton of our strategy to invigorate the economy. Inevitably, this path demands tough decisions, yet ones essential to our success,” he said.

Shettima also recalled that he had inaugurated the National MSME Council ten days ago, adding that it was just the beginning that sets the stage for what is up ahead.

He said that President Tinubu intends to make sure businesses and other economic enterprises prosper in the country.

“Our partnership with the Bank of Industry to unveil an N75 billion, nine per cent interest loan accessible to Nigerian MSMEs as of January 2024 is a pivotal stride.

“This initiative is geared towards fostering a more conducive and enabling business environment.

“This government doesn’t just boast some of the nation’s finest talents; it champions those invested in ensuring our business owners have front-row seats in our journey towards progress.

The goal, he said, would cultivate an ecosystem where Nigerian businesses become regular features in globally recognized publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times for the right reasons.

“We are all well aware that Mr. President’s readiness to take action has never faltered, and what we are witnessing here is just a component of the strategies in place to create a future brimming with endless opportunities”.

Shettima lauded the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, and the leadership of SMEDAN for the project, adding they had proven that they are ready to transform “concepts into tangible actions.

“This initiative renews hope for a critical segment of our entrepreneurial community, and highlights our sensitivity to the economic clock of the nation,” he added.

In her remarks, Uzoka-Anite, thanked the vice president for his unwavering support to MSMEs in the country.

She said the completion and commissioning of the new SMEDAN Complex was a clear demonstration of the commitment of the Tinubu administration to the development of the MSME space.

She also outlined other initiatives of the federal government targeted at building capacity and linking MSMEs to markets at home and abroad.

The Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii, also thanked Shettima for his support and guidance in the actualisation of the project and leadership in the MSME space.

He said the agency and the entire MSME community in Nigeria had recorded significant achievements within a short period of time under his stewardship.  Naira Devaluation Deepens Economic Crisis in Nigeria

Odii assured that the agency will continue to collaborate with sister organisations to ensure sustainable growth in the sector.

Also, Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Office of the Vice-President, said the federal government would continue collaboration with stakeholders across the public and private sectors to support MSMEs both in grants and loans.