By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- FOLLOWING campaign by the government urging Nigerians to patronise made in Nigeria products women entrepreneurs under the auspices of Global Centre for Human Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Development, GLOCHEED, has synergised to to advocate a legislation on patronage of their products.
This was stated by the Director General, GLOCHEED, Rose Gyar, at a two day roundtable interaction between the Federal Government regulatory agencies and women in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, on how to improve the entrepreneurial skills of women in the country.
The interaction brought together women entrepreneurs from the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, where they also showcased their products and potential. Gyar said: “If government can make legislation to patronizing products of MSMEs and 30 per cent product in the country must come from MSMEs and it will greatly contribute to the GDP, and if you are not competitive you don’t key in.
“If such legislations are put in place and then programmes are backed up for implementation and with that we can get there.” According to her they have a roadmap to access the funds and will advocate, lobby, negotiate and beg if needs be to have access to the fund.
“Global Centre For human empowerment and entrepreneurship development, GLOCHEED, is working with the ministry of women Affairs to come up with strategies that can actually facilitate the access to MSMEDFs to the development fund in CBN.
“The MSMEs cuts across all sectors including agriculture and value addition starts from the kitchen and there is need for the agricultural sector to carry alone MSMEs in the sector as major players, especially our government is talking about diversification of the economy.
“The essence of the interaction is to establish a platform that would facilitate the achievement of competitiveness amongst Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs.
“We have identified the problems of MSMEs to be to very challenging, particularly in the area of coordination of structure and that is why we feel we do not really fit into the formal market. This platform is to address such challenges.
“In order to provide a benchmark for partnership implementation and evaluation however, the Centre has identified the ‘One Local Government One Product, OLOP, an initiate of SMEDAN to demonstrate the strategy of access to finance as well as promote the policy of import substitution, while providing sustainable availability to raw materials for individual industrial use.
“Similarly the Centre is collaborating with Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, to establish a strategy for easy achievement of 60 per cent access of the N22b MSMEDF provided by CBN for women”, she said.
One of the women entrepreneurs, Bayelsa State Women Entrepreneurs and Cooperative Association, Peace Oruama, made a passionate appeal to National Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to reduce the amount charged to register their products.
“We appeal to NAFDAC to consider our financial situation to reduce their charges for registration of our products, and also promptly attend to us because it takes too long before they approve our commodities to be sold in the market. If these ar4eas are considered it will enable us do our best and we want Nigerians and government to patronise us” she said.