Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced the approval of a special window of 90 days from October 1 to December 31 to register businesses at reduced rate of N5,000 only, down from N10,000 it was previously.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the announcement, on Wednesday, at the launch of the 19th edition of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics, in Enugu State.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President in Abuja, Laolu Akande, quoted Vice President Osinbajo as saying that the gesture was to further ease the process of registering MSMEs in the country.
“It was observed during some of the earlier editions of the MSMEs Clinics that a lot of MSMEs were finding it difficult to register their businesses as a result of cost.
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“The practice since we began the MSMEs clinics is that most agencies offer price reductions, especially for registration, and all other pre-investment approvals, during the Clinics.
“So, I am pleased to announce that the Federal Government, through the Corporate Affairs Commission, has approved a special window of 90 days from October 1 to December 31 to register businesses at a considerably reduced rate of N5,000 only, down from as much as N10,000 previously.”
The Vice President said the action was taken to afford more MSMEs an opportunity to formalise their businesses.
Osinbajo, who also mentioned other initiatives by the Federal Government designed to consolidate the gains of the MSMEs Clinics, said that the Federal Government would be establishing shared facilities for MSMEs.
He said that the facilities would be based on a partnership between the Federal Government, interested States, Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank, FIRS, NAFDAC, SON and interested private sector partners, as part of efforts at deepening the impact of the Clinics.
He continued, “The purpose of these shared facilities is to have a fully-equipped place with machinery and equipment required for various trades and businesses. MSMEs can then do their businesses at those locations at a reasonable cost.
“This way, MSMEs are spared the financial burden of having to buy their own equipment in order to be able to do business.
“Where possible, these shared facilities would have been pre-certified by relevant agencies, removing the need for MSMEs to pursue these certifications by themselves.”
He also announced the Federal Government’s willingness to partner with State governments in establishing more One-Stop Shops, to further enhance business registration and facilitate seamless interaction between owners of small businesses and the relevant regulatory agencies.
The vice president said that the Federal Government was also aware that some States had gone on to set up ‘One-Stop Shops’ after the Clinics.
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According to him, the One-Stop Shops will bring all the relevant agencies together in one place so as to enable the MSMEs access their services on an ongoing basis.
“The Federal Government is also willing to partner with your State Government to immediately set up one such place for the good use of MSMEs in Enugu State,” he said.
Osinbajo also said there were follow-up plans to ensure that all the finalists from the maiden edition of the MSMEs Awards were supported with publicity and media exposure, to enable them to reach even larger markets at home and abroad.
He said that the ongoing disbursement of collateral and interest-free loans given to petty traders under the GEEP TraderMoni programme would soon be launched in Enugu.
Earlier in his remarks, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state said the State government had already keyed into some of the social investment programmes initiated by the Federal Government.
Ugwuanyi promised that the state would continue to cooperate with all federal authorities to improve the well-being of the people.
The governor expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for inaugurating the National MSMEs Clinics in the state as it would greatly improve the lives of many youths, especially those seeking employment opportunities.