The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum, has reaffirmed the commitment of the federal government towards sustainable development of Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Katagum, during a meeting with a delegation from the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum (NEF) and the Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Nigeria, led by the President Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum (NEF), Dr. Sidney Inegbedion, in Abuja, noted that the present administration had put in place various programmes, including Export Expansion Grant EEG, MSMEs Survival Fund and the National Diaspora Policy as part of efforts aimed at encouraging the growth of small scale businesses in the country.
She, therefore, advised NEF and OWIT to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which commenced in January to enhance their business activities and boost the economy.
In a statement by the Assistant Director, Information, FMITI, Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, the minister, further urged the entrepreneurs to take advantage of its various laudable programmes on micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance their productivity.
She expressed the ministry’s readiness to collaborate and support the associations in realising their mandate most, particularly in the area of youth and women empowerment.
However, Inegbedion had told the minister that the purpose of their visit was to brief her on the modalities for implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between NEF and OWIT.
He said the organisation which was established since 2010, is a private sector driven with focus on stimulating the economic development of the country.
He added that NEF had over the years been providing capacity building and competency based leadership training for some departments in the ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as part of its contributions to national economic development.
He added that the body had also implemented effective management and leadership training towards Nigeria engagement in AfCFTA, among others.
On her part, President of OWIT Nigeria, Blessing Irabor, said the organisation was in partnership with NEF and other relevant stakeholders to advance Nigeria’s commitments to gender equality through international trade and investments.