FG reduces cost of registration for SMEs

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The Federal Government has approved a 90-day special window to register businesses at a reduced rate of N5,000 in a bid to further ease the process of registering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who made the disclosure on Tuesday at the launch of the 19th edition of the National MSMEs Clinics in Enugu, Enugu State, said the special window of 90 days was from October 1 to December 31, 2018.

Osinbajo was quoted in a statement made available by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, as saying, “It was observed during some of the earlier editions of the MSME Clinics that a lot of MSMEs were finding it difficult to register their businesses as a result of cost.

“The practice since we began the MSME Clinics is that most agencies offer price reductions, especially for registration and all other pre-investment approvals during the clinics.
“So, I am pleased to announce that the Federal Government, through the Corporate Affairs Commission, has approved a special window of 90 days from Monday, October 1 to December 31, 2018, to register businesses at a considerably reduced rate of N5,000 only, down from as much as N10,000 previously. This will afford more MSMEs an opportunity to formalise their businesses.”

Speaking on other initiatives by the Federal Government designed to consolidate the gains of the MSMEs Clinics, Osinbajo said, “We will be establishing shared facilities for MSMEs based on a partnership between the Federal Government, interested states, the Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank, FIRS, NAFDAC, SON and interested private sector partners, as part of our efforts at deepening the impact of the clinics.
“The purpose of these shared facilities is to have a fully-equipped place with machinery and equipment required for various trades and businesses. The MSMEs can then do their businesses at those locations at a reasonable cost.

“This way, MSMEs are spared the financial burden of having to buy their own equipment in order to be able to do business. Where possible, these shared facilities would have been pre-certified by relevant agencies, removing the need for the MSMEs to pursue these certifications by themselves.”
He also announced the Federal Government’s willingness to partner state governments in establishing more one-stop shops to further enhance business registration and facilitate seamless interaction between owners of small businesses and the relevant regulatory agencies.

He added, “We are also aware that some states have gone on to set up one-stop shops after the clinics. These one-stop shops bring all the relevant agencies together in one place so as to enable the MSMEs access their services on an ongoing basis.

“The Federal Government is also willing to partner your state government to immediately set up one such place for the good use of MSMEs in Enugu State.”
Osinbajo also stated that there were follow-up plans to “ensure that all the finalists from the maiden edition of the MSME Awards are supported with publicity and media exposure to enable them to reach even larger markets at home and abroad.”

He added that the ongoing disbursement of collateral-free loans to petty traders under the GEEP TraderMoni programme would soon be launched in Enugu.

Earlier in his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu said the state government had already keyed into some of the social investment programmes initiated by the Federal Government, adding that the state would continue to cooperate with all federal authorities to improve the well-being of the people.

He thanked the Federal Government for the launch of the National MSMEs Clinics in the state, noting that they would greatly improve the lives of many youths, especially those seeking employment opportunities.

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