By Donald Ugwu
The Federal Government has resolved to launch one-stop shops in seven states and FCT to spur Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
The measure is also to facilitate smoother government’s regulation and interface between entrepreneurs and agencies of government.
The Vice President’s Spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, said in a statement on Monday that already one such one-stop shop for MSMEs in Plateau State was launched in Jos on Aug. 24, and was being housed by the Plateau State Micro-Finance Development Agency (PLASMEDA).
According to him, the states that are next in line are Abia, Cross River, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Kano, Benue and the FCT.
He said that the shops were slated to take off between September and October, adding that more of the one-stop shops are expected to be launched in other states before the end of the year.
The one-stop-shop is aimed at bridging the information gap between micro and small investors and regulatory agencies of government.
Such agencies include the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and others.
Akande said that the MSMEs clinics which held in several States already had provided the opportunities for entrepreneurs and local producers in the MSME level to interact with regulatory agencies.
He added that the One-Stop Shop would create an ongoing opportunity in a permanent location to achieve the same purpose.
The One-Stop Shop programme is part of the on-going Nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Clinics for Viable Enterprises (MSME Clinics) initiated by the Presidency in January 2017.
The MSMEs Clinics, one of the diversification initiatives of the Buhari administration, was designed to give small businesses the opportunity to interact with the industry regulators in an effort to spur local production and harness the nation’s export potential.
The agencies to be housed in the One-Stop Shops are the Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), CAC, FIRS, SON, NAFDAC, and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
Others are the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).(NAN)