Hajia Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has assured small scale entrepreneurs in the country of Federal Government’s support in addressing the challenges facing them.
The minister gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja when a delegation from the Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN) paid her a courtesy visit.
She said that small scale enterprises were critical to the government’s employment generation and wealth creation agenda, hence the need to accord them utmost priority.
While lauding the association’s contributions to the country’s economic development, the minister promised that government would assist them in awareness creation, access to credit facilities and market access opportunities, among others.
“This administration is talking about diversification, industrialisation, employment generation and wealth creation, and we have an organisation like you doing things in this direction.
“We have heard your message and we promise to do whatever we can to assist you especially when it comes to the sensitisation aspect of what AMEN is doing,’’ she said.
Earlier, the National President of AMEN, Mr Prince Iche, said that the association was made up of small scale entrepreneurs engaged in various lines of production and services.
He said that members of the association had contributed over 4,000 consumer products to the local market.
Iche enumerated the challenges facing the association to include poor patronage of locally made products, high cost of business registration and product certification, lack of market access opportunities, among others.
In a remark, Mr Bature Masari, the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), commended the association for helping to create the needed employment in the country.
Masari noted that small scale enterprises were key to actualising sustainable national economic development with the needed government support.
“The needs of this critical sector are not very difficult to meet. They are mainly to facilitate easy business and production activities.
“They also include facilitation of their access to finance; we are doing a lot in this regard in collaboration with the Bank of Industry.
“But with additional support from the ministry and the country’s leadership, we can do a lot better,’’ the SMEDAN D-G said.