FG Targets $200m From Philanthropists for MSMEs

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has set plans in motion to raise $200 million from philanthropic individuals and organisations as part of efforts to create jobs and support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

Nigeria is home to over 36.9 million MSMEs, comprising 96.7 per cent of all businesses in Nigeria.

According to data, 67 per cent of these businesses are youth-owned. MSMEs contribute over 45 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), with 98.8 per cent of them in the micro cadre. They account for nearly 90 per cent of the jobs in the country.

Despite their crucial role in economic development, MSMEs are limited by funding gaps which stunt growth and profit making and their contributions to the wider economy.

According to Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs and Job Creation, Office of the Vice President, the funds will be invested in key programmes and projects across different target sectors.

He said the presidency has also established the Nigeria Philanthropic Organisation (NPO), a private sector-led coordinating office to be domiciled in the office of the vice president, to facilitate the initiative.

The body, Mr Adekunle-Johnson noted, will work with donors, impact investors, and financial institutions to support the establishment of twelve mega hubs across the country and catalyse support for existing and new entrepreneurs in renewable energy, agro-processing, furniture, and fashion among other areas of the economy.

“The funds raised will be invested in key programmes and projects that will create opportunities for employment across different target sectors and facilitate growth in the MSMEs sector,” he added.

According to him, Vice President Kashim Shettima has appointed Mrs Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke to chair the Nigeria Philanthropic Organisation while the S.S.A. to the President on MSMEs and Job Creation is to coordinate its secretariat.

“She is the current Chairperson of SME.NG. She is a member of Nigeria’s National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NABII) and the Chairperson of the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC) in South Africa,” a statement read.

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