The Edo State government will mark the 2023 MSME Day with a focus on access to finance, energy, and industrialization.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, June 27, the MD of the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr Kelvin Uwaibi, said that the government is committed to creating an enabling environment for MSMEs to thrive.
“MSMEs are vital to the economy of any location they’re in. The United Nations (UN) ascertain they make up 90 per cent of all businesses globally, and they account for over 60 per cent of employment.
“We know that access to finance is one of the front-burner challenges facing MSMEs,” Uwaibi said. “That’s why we’re working with partners like LAPO Finance to provide loans and other financial services to MSMEs.”
“There is a N2bn funding facility available to MSMEs in Edo State which they must do everything to tap into. It is their money and the Governor recently announced an expansion of that fund to N5bn,” he added.
Uwaibi who doubles as the Secretary of the Edo State Ease of Doing Business Council also said that the government is working to improve access to energy for MSMEs. “We’re working with 20 renewable energy companies to provide off-grid power solutions. Of course, these are in rural communities so you see how that stimulation will cascade to the State’s economy,” he said.
Finally, Uwaibi said that the government is focused on promoting industrialization through MSMEs. “We’re working with MSMEs to develop products that can be exported in the wake of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” he said, before adding that “ESIPO alone has collaborated with GIZ to train 30 exporters from Edo State.”
The 2023 MSME Day is celebrated every June 27th. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Building a Stronger Future Together.”
To mark the day, the government is encouraging more MSMEs to partner with it to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals 1 & 2.