By: Prudence Okonna & Salamatu Aminu
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has so far disbursed 325 Million Naira to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) based in Abuja.
The disbursement is to enable Micro Small and Medium Enterprises key into the COVID-19 Action Recovery Economy Stimulus (CARES) programme.
Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Olusade Adesola, revealed this while flagging off the fourth edition of the Abuja SME EXPO organized by the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA)Thursday, at River Plate Park, Ahmadu Bello Way, Wuse 2, Abuja.
Adesola, who was represented by the Secretary, Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and Public Private Partnerships (EPRGPPP), Chinedu Elechi, said the CARES programme would support the recovery of MSMEs while enhancing their capacity.
He revealed that the 325 million naira disbursed to over 1,600 MSMEs in the FCT is to support the payment of credit facilities, meet operational cost and acquire technological enhancements.
He added that there will be subsequent disbursement of 3.5 million dollars support package within a two-year timeline.
The Permanent Secretary said this edition of the EXPO is focused on providing sustainable market solutions in addition to promoting local content to gain regional and global visibility.
Welcoming guests to the occasion, Acting Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Chudi Ugwuada-Ezirigwe, said the theme of this edition “Unlocking Opportunities Leveraging Digital Technology for Nigerian MSMEs under the African Continent free Trade Agreement (AICFIA)” is hinged on providing a springboard for Nigerian SMEs to develop their potentials and expand their frontiers into the African Market.
He explained that the platform will also underscore the pivotal role that digital technology plays in unlocking the vast opportunities presented by AICFIA.
Ugwuada-Ezirigwe reiterated that relevant stakeholders in the SME ecosystem needs to play a collaborative role to harness the potentials of entrepreneurs.
His words: “harnessing these far-reaching potentials requires a collaborative commitment from all the relevant stakeholders within the SME ecosystem which involves enhancing the commercial value of Nigerian products and services through digitization in line with global standards which is a crucial prerequisite and best practices for robust competitiveness on the international stage”.
The SME EXPO which commenced, 2nd Thursday, will end on Saturday 4″ November, 2023, and features activities such as products promotion and exhibition, Business Clinics, Symposiums, Interactive Panel Discussions and Business Advisory Sessions.