The Federal Government has announced a bold plan to formalize 1 million micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) across the country. Vice President Kashim Shettima made the announcement at the launch of the Expanded National MSME Clinic in Makurdi, Benue State.
The MSME Clinic aims to break down barriers and provide critical resources to fuel entrepreneurial growth. Benue State is the first stop on a journey that will see the clinic visit Ebonyi, Ogun, Delta, Kaduna, Borno, Katsina, and the FCT by mid-2024. The program culminates in the National MSME Awards on World MSME Day in June, celebrating entrepreneurial spirit and showcasing success stories.
Vice President Shettima emphasized the government’s dedication to creating a thriving MSME ecosystem. He acknowledged the crucial role these businesses play in job creation and economic development, pledging unwavering support through various initiatives. These include a N75 billion loan scheme from Bank of Industry (BOI) and Access Bank’s discounted N50 billion fund, offering affordable access to capital for entrepreneurs.
The Vice President hailed Benue’s industrious spirit and entrepreneurial drive, calling it a “beacon of inspiration” for the entire country. He praised the state’s dedication to agriculture, art, and commerce, highlighting these sectors as testaments to Benue’s remarkable productivity.
The Vice President also announced plans by President Tinubu for a world-class fashion hub in Makurdi, dedicated to the state’s thriving tailoring cluster which, according to him, is set to be operational within 90 days.
Governor Hyacinth Alia declared Benue’s “open for business” status, reiterating the state’s commitment to supporting MSMEs as a key driver of economic growth. He acknowledged the challenges faced by businesses, including insecurity, regulatory hurdles, and access to finance, and assured attendees that his administration is actively tackling these issues.