With the fourth Shared Facility to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across the country commissioned in Imo State by the Federal Government, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said federal resources belong to all Nigerians just as he announced that several more Shared Facility centres are in the offing for the use of small businesses in the country.
According to Prof. Osinbajo, the “Federal Government and federal resources belong to all Nigerians. Each State is entitled to seek partnerships with the Federal Government to better the fortunes of their people.”
The Vice President spoke shortly after he was received on arrival in Imo State by Governor Hope Uzodinma. He was accompanied by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, and while in Owerri he commissioned the Shared Facility located beside the Amakohia Market and also headlined the 29th edition of the National Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics yesterday.
(The 29th MSME Clinics coincided with the commissioning and handover of the Shared Facility in Imo State. A shared facility is a place where the government provides various equipment and machines for a particular type of trade or business for use by businesses located in that environment.)
Narrating how the idea of FG providing Shared Facility centres emerged, the Vice President said it was “in the course of running the Clinics, we noticed that in addition to their requests for a more friendly regulatory environment, MSMEs also wanted to be supported in terms of production facilities which were lacking or too expensive.
“This is how we came up with the idea of supporting MSMEs by providing at least one Shared Facility in every State of the Federation. It is also why the President approved the Shared Facility Scheme for MSMEs as part of the MSME Clinics.”
Prof. Osinbajo then listed Shared Facility projects to be commissioned next starting from later this week to early next year, in addition to the four already in place (including the Shared Facility commissioned in Imo yesterday), as follows:
1. Shared Facility for Edo State would be a woodwork carpentry and cabinet making facility to be located within Edo Production Centre in Benin City. This would be handed over this week.
2. The Shared Facility for Kaduna State is located within Soba Tomato cluster in Soba Local Government Area of the State.
3. The Kebbi State Facility located in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, will provide 2 lines of rice milling machinery to assist rice farmers to also mill their rice and benefit more from the rice production value chain.
4. The Ogun Shared Facility will be located within the popular Adire Market in Abeokuta.
5. Ebonyi State Facility located within the Uburu Industrial Cluster in Uburu, Ebonyi State. Machines are being made for the production of various types of footwear and leather works for shoe-makers in Ebonyi State.
6. Kano State Facility is located within the Kano Metropolis of the State for various types of footwear and leather works for shoe-makers in the State.
7. The Katsina State Facility will cater for Tomato farmers within the State through the provision of modern machinery for the production of tomato paste.
8. The Ekiti State Facility will cater for cocoa farmers through the provision of machinery for the processing of cocoa in cocoa flour.
9. The Bauchi State Facility is expected to be located around Azare in the State and will cater for groundnut farmers through the provision of modern groundnut oil milling plants.
Explaining further the VP said a Shared Facility is a place “where the government provides various equipment and machines for a particular type of trade. These are usually very expensive industrial type machines and equipment.
“They are usually too expensive for any small business to buy. Government invests in buying the equipment and in providing the space for the facility which is located in an area where there is a cluster of that trade or business or a place where there are many people in the particular trade or business.
“The idea is that such people can then have access to the use of the machines and equipment in that facility. In this way, government assists many people involved in the same trade with machines and equipment that they would not have been able to buy themselves.
“To do this, the Federal Government partners with interested States, the Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank, and the Private Sector. And the particular trade or business to be supported is chosen in collaboration with the State Government and relevant MSME stakeholders.”
Three Shared Facility centers have already been provided by the FG before yesterday’s handover of the one in Owerri, while in 2021 alone, work has commenced on the development of 10 facilities across various States. According to the VP, these will complement those previously commissioned in Anambra, Benue and Lagos States.
He listed them.
“In Benue State, we have built a 200,000 capacity Yam Storage facility, at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market, the largest yam market in Africa, and possibly in the world.
“In Lagos State, we built the Eko MSME Fashion Hub 1 (one) around Allen Avenue which services about 300 tailors and fashion designers daily.
“The Anambra State Facility is in Ogbunike, Oyi, it is a shoemaking facility with industrial equipment and machines within close proximity of the Anambra shoe-makers cluster.”
Regarding the Shared Facility commissioned in Owerri, the Vice President disclosed that it “comprises about 200 world-class manual and fully automated-fashion equipment and when used to full capacity, it will service 350 MSMEs daily and 110,000 each year.”
Speaking at the venue of the 29th MSME Clinics after the inauguration of the facility, the Vice President urged States to synergize more with the Federal Government noting that, “this partnership with the Federal Government is an excellent example of the way a State Government should work jointly with the Federal Government in order to benefit the people of the State.”
He asserted that the “Federal Government is focused on providing every Nigerian with a good-paying source of livelihood. This means providing a favourable environment to do business and a safe and secure environment.
“As we work assiduously towards this objective, we call on you the great people of this State to stand with the State Government and the Federal Government in achieving these objectives.
“The land on which we stand today is yours as Nigerians, we have no other land to call our own. Do not allow this land to become unruly or ungovernable, do your own best to ensure peace, this is the only way to eat of the bountiful fruits of this land that God has given us.”
The VP reiterated the commitment of the Buhari administration in ensuring that the welfare of the people is catered for, noting that “this is why Mr. President has prioritized infrastructural development and has brought some key projects under special funding arrangements.”
“For example, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano Expressway are all under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, the funds are provided and managed by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.”
On his part, the Imo State Governor commended the creativity of the Federal Government through the Office of the Vice President, in the actualization of the objectives of the MSMEs Clinics in the State. He described the Facility as a “wonderful thing,” commending the Vice President for its realization.
According to him, “the facility is equipped with modern fashion and garment making equipment not found anywhere in the Southeast. There is also 24 hours supply of electricity to ensure uninterrupted productivity inside the facility.
“What is now left is for the beneficiaries to move in with their skills, their destinies are now in their own hands. All thanks to the brilliant initiatives of our amiable and capable Vice President.
“On behalf of the government and people of Imo State, I commend the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the formal unveiling of the Imo MSME Shared Facility project. This laudable scheme is a collaborative venture between the FG, State Government and private sector partners.”
Lauding the VP further, Senator Uzodinma added that yesterday’s event “is yet another testament of your commitment to the development of Imo State. We must thank our great leaders for this attention that they are always giving to our dear State.”