Abuja – U.S. Chargé d’affaires David J. Young today joined Acting President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo and more than 5,000 entrepreneurs as the Office of the Vice President hosted a “Care Clinic” that provided on-the-spot solutions to bottlenecks holding up small and medium-sized businesses.
The clinic replicates a series of activities supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in late 2016 at which micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) directly engaged with federal ministries, departments, and agencies to help them navigate federal government programs and initiatives with regard to business development.
“The United States is here to support Nigeria’s efforts to grow and strengthen its MSME base, to connect them with expertise and markets abroad, and to improve the level of service that it can offer,” Mr. Young said at the event. “I have high hopes that Acting President Osinbajo and his team can deliver on its pledges of support to MSMEs, and this Care Clinic is proof positive that he is putting these pledges into action.”
Originally designed to complement activities of the Presidential Enabling Business Council by serving as a feedback mechanism to the ease of doing business in Nigeria, the initiative also seeks to increase the percentage of businesses that are registered and operating in the formal sector.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the informal sector contributes more than 41 percent to Nigeria’s gross domestic product. Growing formal sector will not only increase federal and state support for small business, but also result in substantial tax revenue.
With USAID support, the Office of the Vice President will oversee the implementation of 14 more events in 2017. Demand for these events from the States has grown substantially since the concept was launched.
About USAID: USAID partners to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity. In its partnership with Nigeria, the United States strengthens social stability through social services, supports transparent and accountable governance, promotes a more marketled economy, and enhances Nigeria’s capacity as a responsible regional and trade partner. For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit www.usaid.gov