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NASSI urges government’ support for MSMEs

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The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has called for more government support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, to get more people off the street and boost the country’s economy.

The body made the call at the weekend, as it rounded off a week trade fair held at Adeyemi Dero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. The one-week exhibition, which was berth to showcase made in Nigeria products from food items to wears, and home items had as its theme: “Promoting made in Nigeria products towards industrial self-reliance”

According to the Chairman, Local Organising Committee and Chief Executive Officer, Getinuel Investment Limited, Getrude Akhimien, said the group is looking forward to holding the second fair this year between November and December.

Akhimien, who is also the Vice Chairman, NASSI further said: “We decided to hold the second one like six to seven months apart so that we have more time to evaluate on our achievement, lapses and where improvement can be made. We started the planning on the just concluded one six months ago.

“We are doing this to show that we have products that are in the same level with imported ones. Our aim is to target those in the productive sectors of the economy. We want people that have the passion for made in Nigeria, those that can replicate products that are being imported into the country so that our locally manufacture products can takeover. Made in Nigeria is the only thing that can make us self-reliant.”

She added, “We need to start copying, there is nothing wrong in doing that; when you copy perfectly, Nigerians entering your shop will buy your product and they will think they’re buying imported products.”

While canvassing for more government support, she said: “I really want to appreciate the government, especially the Lagos State Government for training unskilled youths who are off the streets and trying to get us to accept them into our companies. I am happy that the government after realising that any economy that does not take cognisance of SMEs is not going anywhere. The policy focus of the government is now about growing the small scale enterprise; if the government can mobilise one million SMEs, and they take another two workers each, you’ve taken two million people of the street in a matter of months. That is why we are on the government neck to do more.”

When asked about the poor attitude of Nigerian artisans to work, she said: “this are teething problems; the association was formed to tackle the problems and to encourage MSMEs and our members to be diligent in all they do.”

A representative of one of the exhibitors, Fincap Investment, Oriyomi Adewale, while commending the NASSI for the initiative, said: “my advice to the organisers is to take advantage of using the media to disseminate information because most people would have been here but due to low publicity. We got below the number expected, but with that, I can say it’s a good way of showcasing and promoting Nigerian made products. With months to the second exhibition, NASSI must also look for a broad place to organise the programme, a place where people can work in and get whatever they want without restriction.”


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