Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum has reiterated the ministry’s efforts to support initiatives that will lead to economic growth and development, especially for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
She stated this yesterday in Lagos at the second visibility and awareness event of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) poised at showcasing the milestones and achievements towards strengthening the capacity of local MSMEs/manufacturers to produce high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and healthcare-related products.
Since the inception of the project, 162 MSMEs have benefitted and are benefitting from Technical and Training Assistance provided by four partner UN agencies and UNIDO.
Katagum who was represented by the Director, of Industrial Development at the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Adewale Bakare, said MSMEs are the life wire of any growing economy, which has been attested to severally.
She said the implementation of this project has contributed to boosting the economy and opening Nigeria’s healthcare-related products to the international market due to the immense work, which has gone into empowering MSMEs in the production of high-quality PPEs in line with international best practices.
Regional Director, UNIDO, Jean Bakole, said the objective of the programme was to support MSMEs to remain in business during the COVID-19 situation. It also ensures that the MSMEs are engaged to sustain the local content.
Bakole said: “Based on what we saw during the period, we need to engage our MSMEs to produce and to ensure that production is quality, which can help face the health issue we were facing at that time.
“We are also contributing to the resilience of the MSMEs in the country because as you may know the MSMEs constitute the big pillar from which any economy can start. I thank the government of Nigeria for accepting to support this project,” he said.
Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Miss Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, said this project is a key component of the European Union support to Nigeria for COVID-19 through the European Union basket fund.
She said the EU has mobilized 50 million euros through the basket fund to complement the ongoing government efforts of the national funding response plan.
It has allowed the mobilization of essential commodities as well as ramping up laboratory capacity in a short time to respond to the burden. In this context, Nigeria realized that 73 per cent of businesses lay off staff due to COVID-19. So additional funds were mobilized to take on the socio-economy aspect of the project.