Atiku’s Plan For MSMEs: More Opportunities for The Youth

Atiku has assured Nigerians he will launch a new, more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable national Entrepreneurship Development and Job Creation Programme which shall in collaboration with the private sector shift the status of the unemployed, especially the youth, to a more economically empowered place through greater access to quality skills training and better employment opportunities. The policy plan as presented by Atiku Abubakar will focus on restoring a stronger, equitable, unprejudiced and more prosperous Nigeria with a vision for a new Nigeria that provides jobs, especially for its teeming youth.

A very key part of the policy is Atiku’s plan to promote the MSMEs sector which will continue to be an important cornerstone of our national development. Nigeria is known to have a vibrant informal sector with nearly 40 million MSMEs employing 60 million people with majority of these enterprises owned and occupied by the youth. The sector, therefore, holds the key to sustainably resolving the challenges with job creation in Nigeria, as is the case in countries with low levels of unemployment. Atiku has presented a plan to put measures in place to enhance the growth of these MSMEs, their efficiency as well as productivity in the economy.

In Nigeria today, among the key issues affecting the performance of MSMEs is the limited availability and access to credit, but Atiku intends to ameliorate this by facilitating the establishment of the SME Venture Capital Fund by the private sector to provide for longer-term capital for targeted small firms. The aim is to attract a minimum of $250 million of private sector funding for Nigerian small businesses. Government will also establish a platform for de-risking SME lending and increase the MSMEs funding window currently from N200 billion to N500 billion and set aside same for the new platform. Apart from this, Atiku’s plan includes promoting awareness of the National Collateral Registry of Nigeria and further simplifying the collateral registration process, especially for places without internet access. Enhanced access to the registration it is believed will help to unlock much needed finance for MSMEs.

This will definitely  enhance job creation, economic and entrepreneurship development. It is also expected that the plan to strengthen and better fund the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) will increase active participation of more youth in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).There is also a plan to setup a new platform which shall mobilize financing for MSMEs by using credit guarantees to address the risk of default.  It shall also provide technical assistance through capacity building to enhance their managerial capacity and access to domestic and global markets. According to Atiku Abubakar “Our youths are our most valuable resource and charting new frontiers. Their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities are things of pride and should be applauded, encouraged and nurtured I should know, I have thousands of them working for me all over the country”