The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has announced Federal Government’s plan to assist small and growing businesses (SGBs).
The move according to the Minister would promote regional private business ownership and global investments by simplifying the registration of business names at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The Minister said the move will first ease, and increase access to credit facilities.
Aganga disclosed this at business networking meeting for SGBs.
The meeting holds quarterly. Meanwhile, this quarters meeting was held at the Pan African University, Lekki, Lagos.
He mentioned that the FG has accepted SGBs as partners in business development in the country, adding that about 17.2 million SGBs have been registered and accepted in the country.
"So far, there are 17.2 million SGBs and 32.4 million people employed through these businesses. We are putting in place deliberate efforts to grow these numbers, if we must achieve the nation’s Vision 20:2020. Nigeria will do anything to create the right environment for valuing and promoting SGBs," he said.
"The Federal Government has done a review to know the economic constraints facing SGBs and is putting in place measures to upgrade them. Such measures include online upgrade, easier registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and quicker access to credit facilities.
"The ministry will do all it can to help provide skill enhancement so that SGBs can add value by creating industries, help the nation to increase its foreign reserves and operate profitably and sustainably," the minster assured.
Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans in response to the Ministers remarks, said the Minister was right that small businesses were the driving force of every economy and they cannot be relegated, adding that the Telecom sector was prepared and committed to initiate programmes and ideas that would ensure the growth of the economy.
"Etisalat is committed to the implementation of ideas that will spur growth and creativity of small businesses, as innovation is key among its business pillars. As we all know, the lifeblood of any nation is innovation drawn from entrepreneurs.
"Our effort to foster innovation led to the launch of the Etisalat Prize for Innovation, where the Best Product or Service and Best Idea in Broadband were picked from over 100 applicants. The vision has also stimulated a partnership with the EDC on several projects including Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and the development of the SME Toolkit," he said.
In his advice to young entrepreneurs, Evans said, budding entrepreneurs one must be creative, proactive and self assured to succeed in the sector and urging them to always take opportunities as they come.