- Ten Nigerians who run small businesses across the country are set to receive awards for the diligence and originality in their innovations
- These Nigerians would be honoured at the 5th national Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Award which would take place on World MSME Day
- According to SA to President Muhammadu Buhari on MSMEs, the award is aimed at encouraging indigenous innovations among Nigerian small business owners
The federal government on Thursday, May 19, announced its plan to award small business owners doing well in Nigeria with prizes at the fifth National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Award.
Speaking at a press briefing attended by Legit.ng, the special adviser to the president on MSMEs, Tola Adekunle-Johnson, said in line with the agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the office of the Vice President has over the years, supported the growth of small businesses across the country.
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Adekunle-Johnson said that this has been achieved by empowering and rewarding excellence in the MSME space in Nigeria as one of such targeted interventions is the National MSME clinics birthed in 2017.
Adding that the initiative has been impactful, specifically with the number of businesses that have directly benefited, Adekunle-Johnson said in this year's award, that 10 brand new cars would be given to 10 different business owners across the country.
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According to him, the cars would be won by outstanding MSMEs who excelled in interventions that are indigenous. Other prizes would also be won by several MSMEs across the country.
The different categories for the award include the MSME Award for Excellence in Agriculture, the MSME Award of Excellence in Beauty, Wellness and Cosmetics, the MSME Award of Excellence in Creative Arts and the MSME Award of Excellence in Fashion and Style.
Others are the MSME Award of Excellence in Leather Works, the MSME Award of Excellence in Furniture and Woodwork, the MSME Award of Excellence in Manufacturing and the MSME Award of Excellence in Tech and innovation-driven Enterprise
"Interested MSMEs are invited to visit the website and fill out their application, (www.msmeclinics.gov.ng).
"The Portal will open for applications by 11:59 pm today, Thursday, May 19, 2022, and will close on Sunday, June 12, 2022."
The award will hold on June 27, 2022, World MSME Day.
Adekunle-Johnson added that since its inception, the office of the president through the initiative has successfully captured over 600,000 MSMEs in the national clinics.
He added that these MSMEs are exposed to the key expertise needed for the development of their businesses.
"This initiative has undoubtedly been impactful, specifically with the number of businesses that have directly benefited."
"Out of the Clinics emerged initiatives such as the MSME One-Stop Shop, the Shared Facility Initiative and the National MSMEs Awards."
One facility that delivers all to small business owners
In addition, the deputy director, of engineering design and development at the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Obassi Ettu, said the one-stop shop of the initiative avails the beneficiaries with everything they need to succeed in their businesses.
"For example, we have the one-stop-shop with representatives from every agency or discipline the beneficiaries need."
"If your issue is with raw material, you have someone to guide you from the Raw Materials Research and Development Council; if it is on standards and quality there is someone from NAFDAC and SON there to assist and if it is on export, there are people from NEXIM and same for IT and any discipline."
Ettu, however, said that it is lear to understand that winners of the award must be MSMEs with indigenous products or innovations.
"It has to be indigenous and the local content has to be very high; you can't take something from outside and claim it is local. We take monitoring and evaluation very seriously and we have to make sure that your products meet the standards and that you also have the facility needed."
"Again, we also ensure that it reaches the level where your product or initiative can compete in the global space."
FG's MSME intervention fund for 2021
In 2021, the Nigerian government had earlier organised the registration for the guaranteed offtake stimulus scheme and the general Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) grant.
The application process for the grant started on Tuesday, February 9, to February 18, 2021.
Mariam Katagum, the minister of state for industry, trade and investment, disclosed that a total of 100,000 MSMEs would benefit from the scheme.
Launch of MSMEs survival fund
In a related development, the MSMEs Survival Fund was successfully launched on September 21, 2020, by the federal government.
The FG also announced the next implementation stage with the official launch of the Artisans’ Support Scheme on Thursday, October I, Independence Day.
This was disclosed by the project delivery office, MSMEs survival fund and guaranteed offtake schemes on Friday, October 2.