By Evelyn Okakwu
The organized private sector has been called upon to work closely with government agencies in ensuring proper distribution of funds for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
Speaking during this year’s annual business round table; with the team; accessing governmental and institutional support for SMEs, the Director General of the chamber in Abuja, Mr. Joe Wenegieme said the program is aimed at analising the challenges of SMEs towards accessing government funds and find out ways in which they can work with Government agencies, like the chamber of commerce to help solve the problem.
Speaking also at the event, Investment Law and Taxation (ILT) consultant, Prince Ade Tokumbo Kayode noted that Government is willing to help, but lamented the fact that loopholes exist which has prevented the efforts of government from yielding positive results.
“Government has the intentions to do it. It has put in money; N200 billion. And that is just one item. I can tell you that there are other funds; like the NAC funds, Sugar funds, and even rice and industry funds, as well as that of Agriculture. All these moneys are in billions, but there is serious challenge on how to get these moneys. And the whole essence of government, bringing out the money is to ensure that they are giving to those whom they were meant for”.
“If An SME is a member of the A chamber of commerce, he should be able to ratify the membership and then through the ABUCIMA the SME can present its proposal to government and get the funds it desires”.
Reiterating this point the ABUCIMA DG said the chamber hopes to do a representation on behalf of the SMEs to the government to facilitate the process of accessing the said funds.
Speaking also at the event, former president of the chamber Dele Oye said the round table was orgainised to bring makers and users of Nigerian products together, to access possible loopholes, or rooms for expansion and review of the products.
He added that the program which includes the election into major positions in the industries is also meant to create a strong feedback mechanism for stake holders in the industry.