My regime has ensured survival of SMEs — Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, in Abuja, said his regime has “done so much” to ensure the survival and development of Small and Medium Enterprises despite several external shocks, like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Citing the recent signing of the Business Facilitation Bill into law, Buhari said a vibrant and successful SME sector is required to grow the economy and create jobs.

“This administration has, despite the difficult times brought upon us by a variety of external shocks, done much to ensure survival and development of SMEs,” Buhari said when he received the Governing Council and members of the Institute of Directors, led by its President and Chairman, Dr Ije Jidenma.

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Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Thursday, titled: ‘No economic development without vibrant and successful small and medium enterprise sector —President Buhari.’

Addressing his guests, the President, according to Adesina’s statement said: “I was particularly interested to learn that you not only cater to large corporates, but are aware that for any economy to grow and create jobs, we need an equally vibrant and successful small and medium enterprise sector.

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“This administration has, despite the difficult times brought upon us by a variety of external shocks, done much to ensure survival and development of SMEs.

“It is also my pleasure to share with you that your visit comes just a month after I signed into law, the Business Facilitation Bill, which eases various constraints for micro, small and medium sized enterprises. I am confident that this act will go some way in improving our business environment, especially for the MSMEs,” the President noted.

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He congratulated the Institute on its 40-year milestone, applauding it for its commitment to nation building.

Buhari urged the Directors to uphold transparency and good business ethics and called on stakeholders to recognise the Institute’s potential to serve as a support base for economic development.

Buhari noted further: “These values are not just important pillars in the private sphere.

“They are also the keys to success in governance in the public sector, where the people have handed to us in trust, the responsibility to lead, guide and protect them.

“As our economy, and conversely, our private sector continues to grow and evolve, it behooves all stakeholders to recognise that such a resourceful institution not only exists, but is equipped and capable of providing the necessary support and development for the country,” he stated.

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In her remarks earlier, Dr. Jidenma disclosed that the reforms executed in various sectors of the Nigerian economy, in the past eight years have increased expectations on the performance of business leaders and boards of public sector organisations.

This, she explained, has set the Institute to sustain its leadership role in the orientation and capacity development for these Directors, so that they can deliver on the mandates given to them.

Dr Jidenma stressed that the Institute had gained insights on areas that needed further action towards being ‘Chartered,’ and having interfaced with the National Assembly and relevant stakeholders, requested for the President’s consideration and assent when the Bill gets transmitted to him.

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