Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) account for nearly 50% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product – It also provides an estimated 70% of total employment for the country’s citizens – The federal government is aware of this and is using the opportunity to reward some MSMEs owners The federal government has since announced its decision to commence an annual MSMEs awards to reward small businesses in the country.
This was announced by the special assistant to the vice president on MSMEs, Tola Johnson, at a press briefing on Monday, July 2, in Abuja. The award ceremony is billed for Thursday, August 2, in Abuja, and will subsequently rotate around the six geo-political zones of the country. According to Johnson, winners in various categories will go home with a brand new car, cash rewards and important work tools to enhance their businesses.
To enable more people participate in the awards, the government recently extended the nomination period of the awards ceremony. It was gathered that the window open to Nigerian entrepreneurs to nominate either themselves or worthy small business owners has been extended till Friday, July 20, in order to allow more small businesses participate in the process. Terlumun Ikya, project coordinator, National MSMEs Clinics, informed that the selection committee, whose members would remain undisclosed, will begin the final phase of selection after the nomination ends.
“As earlier stated at the news conference, MSMEs can nominate themselves by sending short videos about their businesses (stating their unique selling propositions) to 07068979641, 09058648938, 09058648848, 08184371124 or visit www.nmsmeawards.com.ng,” he said. It has also been gathered that the awards has generated excitement among small business owners in the country. Emilia Nwankwo, a fashion designer based in Uyo, said the awards are a good initiative and vowed to nominate herself and her friends. She however urged the government to provide access to finance to help small businesses in the country.
On her part, Adunni Adegoke, a make-up artist based in Lagos, said the fact that winners of the categories would win cash prices should be commendable. I really commend the government for the initiative. Especially the part where they will reward winners with cash prices and other gifts. We really need the money. Small businesses are facing many problems in this country, but it is a good thing that this present government is paying more attention to our plight and addressing it
. The award scheduled to hold on Thursday, August 2, at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, will be cash-backed and aimed at encouraging MSMEs in the country. The award will be in 12 categories namely: MSME of the Year, Young MSME of the Year, Most Friendly MSME State, Excellence in Creative Arts, Excellence in Agriculture, Excellence in Manufacturing, Excellence in Technology Innovation and Excellence in Fashion and Style.
Others categories are: Excellence in Leather Works, Excellence in Furniture and Wood Works, Excellence in Beauty, Wellness and Cosmetics as well as Excellence for Non-Profit Service to Humanity. Criteria for the selection process will include: outstanding business concept, locally produced goods, use of local technology, and provision of conducive atmosphere for MSMEs to thrive among others.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo initiated and guided MSME Clinics as a government strategy for making it easier for MSMEs to interact with government. The vice president launched the MSMEs Clinic Project on the January 24, 2017 during which representatives of key partnering federal government agencies interacted with over 303,000 participants across 17 states. The vice president himself personally attended the clinics. The clinic demonstrated practical support to MSMEs, provided direct engagement with regulatory and service agencies and crated awareness for locally made goods by MSMEs.