The Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has approved the initiative of the Abuja Enterprise Agency, AEA, to support the establishment of more MSMEs through the grant of a 75% discount on the cost of registration of businesses with the Cooperate Affairs Commission, CAC.
The Territory Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola revealed this during the 2nd edition of the FCT-SEB Trade and Entrepreneurial Exhibition event organized by the FCT Secondary Education Board, FCT-SEB, held in Abuja Nigeria’s capital.
The Permanent Secretary explained that the event was conceived to recognize, encourage and support the grooming of future Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Trades/Craftsmen in the Federal Capital Territory.
Adesola also hinted that in alignment with the vision of Mr. President, the FCT Administration through the Abuja Enterprise Agency has also initiated and sustained various entrepreneurial programmes designed to gainfully engage the youths in the territory.
While calling as many of the FCT residents to explore opportunities offered by this intervention, Adesola assured of the sustained support of the Federal Capital Territory Administration for entrepreneurial development.
Adesola further explained that, in recognition of the role of youths in nation-building and the need for a paradigm shift towards developing self-sufficient, innovative and entrepreneurial youths, President Muhammadu Buhari, has through various agencies initiated and funded policies and programmes toward the development of the Nigerian youth.
He noted that Programmes such as the Youth Entrepreneur Support Program (YES-P), Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (PYES), N-Power Empowerment Programme, Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, etc are all worth noting.
According to him, ” the inculcation and development of the spirit of trades/craftsmanship, innovation and entrepreneurship in our youth is at the heart of our industrialisation and by implication, our economic development as a nation. As we are aware, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are a product of the activities of Trade/Craftsmen and Entrepreneurs. We may ask. what role do they play in nation-building?
A survey conducted on Nigeria’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by Price water house Coopers (PwC Nigeria) titled “Assessing current market conditions and business growth prospects”, observed that the MSME sector is the backbone of major developed economies, as well as important contributors to employment, it reported that MSMES in South Africa, account for 91% of businesses, 60% of employment and contribute 52% of total GDP. For our nation to achieve its potential, therefore, programmes such as these must be encouraged at the grassroots levels: for as the saying goes “catch them young” and “despise not the days of small beginnings”, Adesola Said.
The Permanent Secretary also stressed that it is worthy to note that presently, Nigeria is ranked 1st in Africa in terms of the number of technological incubation hubs, with Lagos state as the capital of Africa’s Tech hubs.
He pointed out that the ongoing financial revolution for financial inclusion is being championed by the youths, noting that, Fintechs such as Flutterwave, Piggyvest, Paga, etc are entrepreneurial efforts of the youth.
Adesola said while there has been a remarkable improvement in the nation’s entrepreneurial journey which has been championed by the youths, stressed that there is room for improvement considering the youthful demography of the population.
Earlier, the Director of FCT Secondary Education Board, Mrs Nanre Emeje said the FCT Permanent Secretary, who is passionate about the survival of the next generation, based on hard work, advised that this exhibition be held annually.
The Director stated that, through her growing experience, the achievement of the maiden edition and in compliance with the Permanent Secretary’s advice, she was propelled and determined that irrespective of auspicious academic times, this laudable programme must be included in the school’s calendar and sustained as a yearly programme.
Mrs Emeje noted that their target will always be to use these events to showcase the students’ achievements in innovation and seek to market the products there.
She added, “Apart from the exhibition and awards, we have included also in this episode the launching of a magazine. Titled “The SEB Entrepreneur” we want through the print media, to advertise ourselves and our products in pictures and slides that can permeate even where our physical presence cannot. The magazine showcases the students’ products and has interviews with persons who have taught and witnessed entrepreneurship education grow in the schools”.
The Country Director Estem, Dr. Segun Ojarotade stressed the need to assist young entrepreneurs by creating an enabling environment and supporting FCT SEB policies that allow them to thrive.
While commenting on the FCT SEB magazine which is aim at showcasing the products of SEB Trade and Entrepreneurship, he encouraged participants to Kee into this launching to support ESTEM Social responsibility’s dream of acquiring equipment needed to promote Trade and entrepreneurship training in our FCT Secondary Schools.
Dr Ojarotade who stated that only entrepreneurs can create the millions of jobs needed to power the economy out of poverty said the right place to start is here.