Nigeria: Government Plans to Improve Living Standards

Government plans to improve living standards within the country by supporting young businesses and entrepreneurs.

 

Perceived as a key player in West Africa, with around 190 million inhabitants, Nigeria accounts for 47 percent of West Africa’s population,and has one of the largest populations of youth in the world. A Federation that consists of 36 states, Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse society. With an abundance of resources, it is Africa’s biggest oil exporter, and also has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent.

In light of the recent news that the country has overtaken India as the poorest nation in the world, the current administration is devising a robust plan to increase the living standards of its inhabitants.

One of Nigeria’s biggest problems is tackling unemployment amongst its young citizens. Graduates are finding it extremely difficult to obtain employment and even more so, to find employment in their chosen career field.

“If conditions in Nigeria were conducive for survival, people may not want to take the risks involved in illegal migration. If government is able to provide the basic necessities of life for its citizens, they will not want to leave the country. Our youths should be encouraged to stay back and help to salvage the country.” says Dr. Lawal, Lagos State University lecturer.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo recently launched the 17th edition of the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinic in Ibadan. During his speech he mentioned that the government are committed to focusing on and developing MSMEs. They are ready to provide the required financial backing to help these businesses and enterprises grow.  The clinic aims to give entrepreneurs easier access to the government with the view of resolving problems and issues more quickly, whilst avoiding back-logs.

“Government has realised that what every MSME needs is cheap money to support their businesses as not many can survive the 26 per cent bank interest rate. We may not solve the entire problem at once but we are genuine in solving these problems.”

The Development Bank of Nigeria has reserved almost N60 billion for this and the Vice President is urging entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the opportunity.

“Nominate yourself for the award when it is rolled out”.

The clinic will not only give financial assistance but will also give business advice and required support to ensure success and longevity.

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, stressed that it was the role of the government not simply to provide jobs but to create a conducive environment for development and the opportunity to thrive.

“We need these small businesses to thrive because they are the ones that create the largest amount of jobs and employment opportunities for our people.”

He went on to mention that the government are, and will, continue to encourage and promote businesses across the country through the strategic partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) instituting a one billion naira MSME development funding scheme for on-lending to manufacturing related MSME in the state. His administration is ready to support two hundred projects under the scheme.

“Our government established ‘One Stop Investment Centre’ to facilitate ease of access and improved responsiveness in service delivery to investors by the various MDAs that provide supportive services to MSMEs. Funds in excess of N1 billion have been disbursed to support various MSMEs promoted by the receptive grouping within the organised private sectors in the state and the generality of the public”

The injection of financial funds into these incentives should hopefully show positive results, improving employment levels and helping to create a more conducive environment for businesses and up and coming entrepreneurs to operate.