Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the federal government is encouraged by the innovation and resilience of young Nigerians.
In a statement on Monday, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman, quoted the vice-president as saying this at the 4th national MSME awards, which held in Abuja on Sunday.
At the event, twelve micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the country won awards in different categories. Also, Gombe was recognised as the best state in the ease of doing business rankings.
Osinbajo commended the creativity of the 2021 winners, noting that “the awards have inspired many young entrepreneurs to greatness and some of the stories are simply incredible”.
He said the federal government is committed to supporting the growth and prosperity of Nigerian youth.
“We are encouraged by the innovation of young Nigerians and your resilience. We are on the right path,” he said.
“Let me leave you with President Muhammadu Buhari’s words of commitment to MSMEs in Nigeria: he said, ‘we will continue to stand by you, to support you and create opportunities for you to grow and prosper’.
“This year, we also have a selection of outstanding winners. Our MSME of the Year, “Bold Artistry”, is a company with a team of young and creative artists working on improving the arts industry by introducing Polystyrene to their works. With this, they have created impressive artworks and are providing jobs for many budding artists.
“Osky Integrated has created its niche in the business of catfish farming. The founders are adding value to fish farming through processing for the local and export market.
“Other winners such as Vegas Gold and the Footwear Academy are promoting made in Nigeria products in the fashion and footwear industries, respectively.”
Osinbajo congratulated all award finalists and nominated MSMEs across the country.
He urged those who didn’t make it in this year not to give up, saying they should “keep innovating, keep working hard” while assuring that “your recognition and reward is inevitable.”
On government efforts in improving the MSME sector, Osinbajo said the federal government has completed and inaugurated two shared facility projects for MSMEs in Benue and Lagos states.
He said the third facility, located at the Ogbunike leather cluster in Anambra state, is ready for commissioning.
“Other shared facility projects ready for commissioning before the end of the year include Kaduna state tomato paste production line and a carpentry cluster in Edo State. Others are in Katsina, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun and Kano states,” he added.
Dignitaries at the event include Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe state governor; Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, deputy governor of Niger state; Dame Pauline Tallen, minister of women affairs; Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development; Mariam Katagum, minister of state for industry, trade and investment; among others.