*Called Trader Moni, meant to help very small sale traders fund their businesses
Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria
June 15, 2018
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, VICE-PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE LAUNCH OF THE MSME CLINIC IN BENIN CITY, EDO STATE, ON THURSDAY, 14TH JUNE, 2018.
Let me say how delighted I am to be here in Edo State. I am here to do three main things. As you already know, we were here earlier for the “Energizing Markets Programme”. The meaning of that is the Federal Government, in collaboration with the State Government, is putting together solar power in all of our markets. So that our markets will have power, our hairdressers, dress makers will have power, those who need to have power in their stores and shops will have power, everyone will have power. That is one of the first reasons why I am here.
The second reason why I am here is for the MSME Clinic, which is this particular event. The policy of the Federal Government is to support businesses; not just big businesses, but particularly small and medium businesses, and also micro businesses. The whole idea of the MSME Clinic is that we want to ensure that we give whatever support we can, whether it is cash, advice or even registration, to all of our small and medium enterprises. That is why I am here today, with the Corporate Affairs Commission, NAFDAC (registration), Bank of Industry (credit), Standard Organisation of Nigeria – all of those agencies of the Federal Government that you need to do business. I brought them with me to serve and solve businesses in Edo State.
What we hope these two days of events will do, is to help those of us who are small businesses and have any kind of problem, talk to the regulatory agencies. If you need NAFDAC registration, they are here, if you need company registration, CAC is here also. The reason is we want Federal Government agencies to be facilitators of businesses, not obstacles. That’s why I have taken them round the country – this is about the 16th edition of the MSME Clinics.
One of the things we want to do is to set up a one-stop-shop here in Edo State, where we have BOI, NAFDAC, SON, CAC in one place, so that anybody who needs their services can go to that particular place and get the service.
The third reason I’m here, is for our Social Investment Programmes. It is a very special programme of our President, Muhammadu Buhari. The first part of the SIP is the N-Power. This programme is an important National programme, because what we want to achieve is to be able to address the question of youth unemployment. Not just youth unemployment, because it is not enough to be employed, you must also be trained and re-trained. We want to make sure that our young people have the right types of training for any type of engagement that they do later in their lives.
That is the reason we started the N-Power programme; we have 200,000 N-Power graduates across the country today, and we are on boarding another 300,000 by God’s grace, by the end of this month. We will have a total of 500,000, and we want to maintain that number. We want to ensure that not only are you an N-Power beneficiary, but you also have the right type of training.
The tablets that you have with you are meant to be training tools, they are also meant to be work tools, because we are doing so many surveys across the country now, and we think that you, as N-Power graduates, should be able to benefit from those surveys. So whenever we are doing a survey, we will call on N-Power graduates, because we have your tablets, you will be helping with enumeration, and of course, you will be paid for the work that you are doing, added to what you are earning already. That is one of the reasons why we want to make sure every N-Power graduate has his/her tablet. It is not just to learn, but also for your own benefit and for different types of engagement that you may need to have.
Asides from N-Power, I am also here in respect of GEEP, our micro-credit loans scheme. You have also heard the governor talk about Home GrownSchool Feeding; today we are feeding over 8.2million school children every day in Nigeria. You heard the governor say that Edo State is going to start the Home Grown School Feeding.
Asides from that, we also have the Conditional Cash Transfers; which is giving N5000 a month to some of the poorest Nigerians across the country. In the next few weeks, we are starting a Micro-credit scheme which we call Trader Moni – that is a different scheme from Market Moni. The Trader Moni is for the smaller traders – these are the hawkers, those selling bread, those frying “akara” and “puff puff” by the roadside, those selling plantain – those who are doing small, little things, where in many cases, their inventory isn’t more than N5000 – N10,000. We want to give those types of people some credit as well, and once they pay back, we will give them some more money as well.
We want to make sure that the very poor trader, no matter how poor you are, so long as you are trading or working, the Federal Government will support you by giving you some extra money to do whatever you are doing. So that every Nigerian who wants to work, who wants to do something, can get the opportunity to do some work.
We are going to be asking our N-Power graduates, to help us with enumerating all of those small traders, so that we can identify them everywhere we go. So here in Edo State, we will do the same.
If you are not benefitting from GEEP,our micro credit loans scheme, you can benefit from this new micro-credit scheme we are about to start. By God’s grace, we should start in the next couple of weeks, and it will be all over the country.
The important thing for us as a government, is to make sure that we deal with the unemployment problem in two ways; one by direct employment, which is what we are doing through the N-Power programme. We would also deal with unemployment by giving credit to people who want to work, whether it is the market women, the artisans, the N-build, asides from them, we would also give credit to the smaller traders like the hawkers and those selling little things all over the country. Because all of these people are hardworking Nigerians, we want to make sure Nigerians who are prepared to work, are given the opportunity to work.
I hope that soon in Edo State, anybody who wants to work, will have an opportunity to work, so that those who are serious about work, will be trained to work in our N-build or N-teach programme, graduates will have something that they are doing, and we will create an enabling environment for doing business.
I want to commend the State Governor, for the excellent work that he is doing. We were at Ikpoba Okha local government, were they are building 1,600 units housing estate. I was also here also for the Fertiliser Plant which is in Auchi, and even before that, the Industrial Plant. All of these are fantastic developments, which the governor has undertaken.
I think that by the time I come back here next, we are going to see some major industries here and there. I want you to give the governor a round of applause.
I think that Edo State is a blessed State, just look at the people you have, the former governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, and the Chairman of our great party, Chief John Oyegun, are also here with us today.
I want to commend all of you for the great work that you are doing, and to wish you all well, and say that we believe very strongly that this State, which in many ways, is the heart beat of our nation, will continue to grow from strength to strength, and all will be well with you, we will always look out for Edo State because the State is very special to the Federal Government.
God bless you all.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
June 15, 2018