The Federal Government has directed the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to extend the 50% discount window for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, registration in Nigeria.
The extension, by three months, is as a result of the successes recorded in the first phase of the project which saw business registrations leaping from 54,000 to 163,000 within six months of introducing the special window for subsidised registration costs.
The special business name registration window of 50 per cent discount was initiated by the Federal Government through the CAC to encourage MSMEs to formalise their businesses.
In a similar vein, the FG also directed relevant government agencies to come up with better funding modules for small businesses in the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement, on Monday said the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo gave the directive at the first quarter MSMEs stakeholder meeting held at the Presidential Villa..
The statement also quoted the vice president as directing the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to harmonise issues relating to overlapping responsibilities for product registration while also stressing the need for relevant agencies of government to ensure that loan beneficiaries were empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to better manage their businesses.
Osinbajo said: “Having listened to all the issues raised in the report and from your various contributions about funding, I think you should come up with suggestions on better funding for startups and MSMEs.
“We need to address this issue as quickly as possible.”
The vice president enjoined regulators in the MSMEs sector to take advantage of technology to help build capacity for owners of small businesses as well as broaden the impact of their interventions.
He further appealed for support from the relevant agencies for the Shared Facilities project for MSMEs which has already taken off in locations across the country.
The statement disclosed that a presentation on the National MSMEs Clinics indicated that the clinics held in 23 states of the federation while One-Stop-Shops were established in seven cities and shared facilities built in Oyo and Bauchi states.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr. Kayode Pitan said the bank was partnering with the Development Bank of Nigeria to enhance access to finance for MSMEs by providing a guarantee for commercial banks.
He however stressed the need for MSMEs to establish a company to de-risk BOI loans.
In attendance at the meeting were the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu, heads of relevant agencies in the MSMEs sector including the BOI, Federal Inland Revenue Service and NEXIM Bank.
Others were Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Development Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Bank of Agriculture, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and NAFDAC.