Ikpeazu’s giant strides in SME through MSMED

Posted by FN Editor | 3 years ago | 946 times

By Kennedy Onyenma

Going by the words of Theodore Levitt, a German American Economist and Professor at the Harvard Business School, “creativity is thinking up new things while innovation is doing new things.” One can boldly assert, therefore, that Governor Victor Ikpeazu is a man of creative innovations. 

No wonder in 2017 a new Ministry called the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) was crafted out of an existing Ministry of Trade and Investment. Since creation, the Ministry has consistently advanced the core visions and aspirations of the Ikpeazu’s five pillars of development, especially, in Trade and Commerce as well as in human capital development.

Among other functions, MSMED was enabled to stimulate economic growth in the areas of employment generation, poverty reduction, wealth creation, value chain re-orientation and sustainable technological development, all tailored in line with the International best practices. 

So far MSMED has exceeded its set goals.
Through deliberate, sustainability plan and synergy with other agencies, the MSMED has proven that the ingenious vision of Governor Ikpeazu, in creating the Ministry, is indeed an innovation borne out of the divine will of  Almighty God.

The MSMED has obviously sustained its creed, as a veritable bridge for rural industrialisation; a vista to engender coherence among the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises, in Abia state; and the destination point for business supports services.

It is worthy of mention also that the MSMED, a brainchild of Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, has, within the short period of time, it has existed, been able to acquire land for its office complex. It has also equipped a one-stop-shop unit where vital information beneficial to the SMEs are stored. These pieces of Information have provided real time solutions needful to the development and growth of the SME.

So far the essence of the one-stop-shop has been plausible and enriching. It does not just consist of a compendium of over 5000 SME operators; it also forms as a directory for interested investors and researchers. In fact, just recently, the one stop shop now has the capacity, with the collaboration of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), to fully process and register business names without the usual hassles of going to the Cooperate Affairs Commission’s office. 

In addition, through periodic Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) trainings, made possible by the Ministry, several SMEs have received requisite trainings on basic skills that are germane to a sustainable business growth and profitability.

 In fact, Abia State is a beneficiary of the Federal Government Survival Fund courtesy of the pragmatism of the MSMED. 

In line with her agenda, the Ministry has also been able to successfully identify and structure SMEs within the three zones of Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia. 

In a well streamlined and result-oriented Partnership, the Ministry is equally collaborating  with some strategic Federal and State Agencies like the CBN, SMEDAN, CAC, BOI, NIRSAL, Aba Chamber of Commerce and Umuahia Chamber of Commerce, to provide resources that spur businesses. 

Aside building formidable partnerships, with relevant Federal and state agencies on ways and means to promote and develop the SMEs in Abia state, the MSMED equally played a pivotal role in facilitating the laudable  gestures of the Governor towards the registration of over 300 SMEs, free of charge, with the CAC. 

The first ever “Enyimba Trade Fair”successfully organised at the Aba Sports Club in 2019 by Zenith Bank PLC and Virtual Xchange LTD, in collaboration with the MSMED, is still evergreen. Recall that the event showcased various forms of textile and garment value chains domiciled within Aba as well as trainings on innovations for business enhancement. Through that partnership, some cloth and textile makers, aka Fashion designers, were selected to feature in an International fashion fair organised by Zenith Bank PLC in Lagos.

It is not in doubt that the fruits yielding from the efforts of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises are, to say the least, visible and eloquent. They shall remain veritable testaments deserving of mention and reference by subsequent administrations. 

Going forward, future generations would certainly see the need to leverage on the ingenuity of the Ikpeazu’s creativity to chart a formidable course for the well envisioned sustainable development goal.

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