FG to create 5m jobs through MSMEs - Minister

By The Citizen

The Federal Government is to create five million jobs by 2015 through expansion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abeokuta at a stakeholders' validation workshop on National Policy on MSMEs.

The Ogun chapter of the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) was also launched at the event.

Aganga said that the step was part of the Federal Government's effort to address the challenge of unemployment in the country.

The minister said he would recommend that an appreciable percentage of government's expenditure be spent on the MSMEs sub-sector annually to enhance the growth of the economy.

''If we must address the challenge of unemployment, then government spending must be tailored toward aiding development and job creation.

''This is our only hope of reducing unemployment in the country. Yes, agriculture is important but MSMEs will create more employment opportunities for Nigerians,' he said.

The minister said that no fewer than 32 million indirect jobs were created in 2012 from 17.2 million MSMEs.

Aganga promised to forward a proposal to the Federal Executive Council on the need to ensureĀ  production of school uniforms from 'Made-in-Nigeria' fabrics.

He expressed optimism that such policy, if implemented, would promote the MSMEs sub-sector.

'School uniforms should be made from Nigerian products. There is no reason why school uniforms cannot be made, even from adire textiles,' he said.

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun noted that expansion of the MSMEs remained one of the fastest means of transforming the economy.

Amosun identified employment generation, increased production and consumption of services of home goods as well as wealth creation as part of benefits derivable from investment in the sub- sector. (NAN)