The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Olusegun Awolowo and the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba are billed to speak at the 1st Abuja SME Conference and Exhibition.
The conference scheduled for 16th and 17th, August is organised by several stakeholders coordinated by the National Chamber Policy Advocacy Centre of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the patronship of the Minister of Trade and the Governor of Nigerian Central Bank.
The event is geared towards building the capacity of SMEs for Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and address internal hindrances working against SMEs existence in Nigeria. The issues for discussion and resolution include fast tracked implementation of new National MSME Policy, proposal for legal framework to harmonise SME taxation, harmonisation of regulatory permits and ease of access to governmental incentives to the SMEs.
The conference will also focus on creating a statutory annual platform for bringing together stakeholders and operators in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises to address the challenges of the sector.
Nigeria government has introduced so many programmes and policies but the SME sector is still facing problems of access to funding, multiple taxation and lack of access to government incentives.
According to a statement from the organisers, the conference is built as a statutory annual meeting point to analyse and proffer solutions to those problems.
It is a platform for stakeholders in both government and non-governmental level to grow and empower the SME operators.
The CBN governor, Emefiele will deliver a keynote address on several efforts of the apex Bank to energise the economy amd particularly the SME sector. As at today, the CBN has over 25 interventions targeted at growing the economy.
The Minister, FMITI, Otunba Adebayo will be speaking on the many initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to grow the SME sector.
Other keynote speakers include Mr. Awolowo whose Agency has been implementing many successful interventions to groom the SMEs for the export market within the context of Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
Also, to speak is the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Process Zone authority on how the Agency has been deploying backward integration to grow the SMEs sector through the free zones enterprises.
To Chair the event is the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who has been supervising the Presidential initiatives on the MSME sector.
The Chief host is the President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Udeagbala and the President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar.