SMEs represent important component in nation’s development- Bello

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Federal Capital Territory’s Minister, Malam Musa Bello has said that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, represent an important component in the nation’s stride towards economic growth and development as Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is committed to the growth of local entrepreneurs as well as small and medium scale businesses in the FCT.

He disclosed this while received a group of award winning entrepreneurs from the FCT in his office on Tuesday, he expressed pride in the performance of the entrepreneurs who had performed very well in the various business related contests under the supervision of the Abuja Enterprise Agency.

He was delighted, especially with the performance of MS Sheelda Enterprises Nigeria Limited which won the first position under the manufacturing category at the recently concluded 3rd National MSME Awards organized by the Office of the Vice President.

While presenting the awardees to the Honourable Minister, the Managing Director of the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) Dr Arabi Mohammed Tukur said that the success of the entrepreneurs was as a result of the support of the FCT Administration for the growth of small and medium scale businesses in the FCT

He also said that SMEs were the engine room of economic growth of any nation as well as jobs creation. He reiterated the determination of the FCT Administration, through the AEA, to provide 230,000 jobs in the FCT in line with the Federal Government’s vision of providing 1 million jobs nationwide by 2023.

In addition to MS Sheelda Nigeria Limited that got a cash prize of N500, 000 along with a brand new car provided by the Bank of Industry, the other award winners are Messrs. Usaifa International Limited that took the first position in the National Business Plan competition organized by the Annual Investment Meeting, a Dubai based organisation in collaboration with the AEA.

The CEO of the company, Usman Ali Lawan is expected to represent Nigeria at the Global event in Dubai, for the top prize of $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars). Also presented to the FCT Minister were the winner and two runners up of the “Mask Up Abuja” competition also organized by the AEA. This contest was for fashion designers to create face masks for the fight against COVID-19 in the FCT.

According to Dr Arabi Tukur, 925 entrepreneurs submitted their works out of which Miss Onojo Malissa came first, winning a cash prize of N500,000 followed by Mr Obiechina John and Mrs. Egorp Susan who came second and third positions with cash prizes of N300,000 and N200,000 respectively.

Speaking after the presentation, the CEO of Sheelda Enterprises Ms Hyelni Hassan expressed delight at being recognized and said this will further motivate her to do more. Sheelba Enterprises is a spice manufacturing company.

Other awardees expressed appreciation to the FCT Administration for providing the platform for them to showcase their creativity and market their businesses. Also at the presentation ceremony were the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa and the Chief of Staff to the Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Borno.

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