The Federal Government has approved the second phase of its 60-day National Action Plan for the Small and Medium Enterprises, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment/Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, has said.She spoke in Lagos during the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry International Investment Conference with the theme: ‘Promoting Industrialisation for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth’.
Oduwole, who was represented by an official of the council, Mr. Soji Akinyele, disclosed that the action plan targeted the SME sector of the economy with 11 initiatives.
The first action plan contained eight initiatives for the sector.
She said the second phase of the action plan commenced on October 3 and would run through December this year.
She added that with the plan, the government would execute the new initiatives and further deepen the existing reforms to deliver significant benefits to the SMEs.
She stated the new initiatives added to the plan took the Nigerian environment into consideration.
She said, “One of those initiatives is trading within Nigeria, which is the internal version of the World Bank indicator, which is called trading across border. While we believe that export and import are important, we also believe that working within internal network of Nigeria is important.”
The council, according to her, is working with the National Office for Technology Acquisition, the Nigeria Customs Service, and other agencies to remove the critical bottlenecks and roadblocks to trading within Nigeria.
“The council has also engaged state governments and supported them in implementing the initiatives that will make their states attractive business hubs. This is to prepare Nigeria for the World Bank Ease of Doing Business sub-national ranking,” she said.
Oduwole pointed out that the first phase of the national action plan was responsible for moving Nigeria 24 places up the ladder of the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.
She said that access to credit for the SMEs had become easy with the Collateral Registry or Secured Transaction in Moveable Assets Act signed into law by the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in May 30.