By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has reiterated its commitment to provide access to funding and reduce the cost of doing business for Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, said this while inaugurating over two million small businesses registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Wednesday, in Abuja.
“We will provide our support to get cheaper funding and intervention grants to get more people in and reduce the cost of funding for the MSMEs,
“We heard your prayer about how we can reduce the business registration cost for the MSMEs, it is also part of the things we can intervene on.
“And these are part of the things President Bola Tinubu’s administration is excited about to create jobs, ensure financial inclusion, poverty alleviation; and all these adds to economy development,’’ she said, according to a statement.
The Minister added that many people have ideas but are not able to implement them because they lack access to the right education, finance, and learning environment.
“So, we are happy to collaborate with you, to support what you are doing.
“I know there are many more people like you (Moniepoint) and we are willing to support them to bring more people into the financial sector and help the government achieve its mandate,” she stated.
Also speaking, CAC’s Registrar-General, Mr Hussaini Magagi, said the giant stride the commission had achieved so far, was due to the support and guidance of the Minister of Trade.
“This happened under the watch of the current Minister of Trade, because of the free hand given to us to ensure compliance of the Company and Allied Matters Acts (CAMA).
“We are registering two million small businesses through our partner Moniepoint, and we are targeting to register over 20 million this year.
“And this will attract revenue to the government, create jobs among other things,’’ Mr Magaji said.
On his part, the Managing Director of Moniepoint, Mr Babatunde Olofin, said the company had a lot of customers who were into small businesses but were not included in the formal sector.
“We help small businesses to grow their businesses. During the cash crunch, when people were not able to transact their businesses, we aided the provision of point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
“We provided financial services to these businesses, came up with a slogan that says “trade in the business you like” and they all rushed in and in a space of short time, we had over two million customers.
“Now we decided to ally with CAC, to enrol the over two million customers that we have into CAC boot.
“And in a matter of five years, we plan to have about 30 million businesses registered with CAC which is going to be a groundbreaking event in Nigeria,’’ Mr Olofin said.
He said the plan of the organisation was not only to register the businesses but also to provide them with other financial support.
He said, “The best way to execute things in mass is to introduce technology that is why we are also partnering with Norebase, a technology company.
“So that as people open an account with us, we send the transaction through Norebase to CAC and the people are registered. At the end of the day, it will be a win-win for us all.’’
According to Mr Olofin, the bank also intended to woe the over 10 million businesses trading on platforms such as Instagram to be included in the formal sector.