SMEs, entrepreneurs not given platforms to showcase products in Nigeria – EXPO convener

The Convener, Enjoy Nigeria EXPO 2021, Isa Yusuf Sago, has expressed concern that Nigeria’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs have not been given enough platform to showcase their products both locally and internationally.

He said there was urgent need to bridge the existing gap.

He noted this in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the Ministerial Committee on EnjoyNigeria Expo 2021 to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

According to him, as part of efforts to boost the activities of SMEs operators and Entrepreneurs, they would be trained on best business practices as well as get support and networking from other big business operators and investors during the EXPO.

He said: “We are here to help businesses to grow. Ours is a calling to help Nigeria. We had identified these gaps and we must close them for the benefit of our people and Nigeria.”

He underscored the need to promote Nigeria’s creative, entertainment, cultural and tourism industries, adding that these sectors of the economy are multi-billion dollar industries that should be explored for employment creation and revenue generation.

He pointed out that food, fashion, music, creative, art and culture, creative performance and tourism sector would feature during the week-long event that starts on December 6-12, 2021 in Abuja.

He therefore, called on the government to create an enabling environment for SMEs to thrive, adding that government needs to look inward and empower the SMEs operators and Entrepreneurs in the country.

Sago further revealed that already the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ministries of Information and Culture; Youth and Sports have thrown their weight behind the EXPO.

He therefore, sought the support and collaboration with the Ministry of Aviation in the facilitation of movement of prospective investors during the programme.

Also speaking, the Director of Investment in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Funke Ajayi, said the forthcoming EXPO would help to unite Nigeria, as many SMEs operators and Entrepreneurs from across the length and breadth of the country would participate actively and network among themselves during the EXPO.

She further requested the minister to use his good offices to direct the agencies under the supervision of the ministry to lend their support and participate at the EXPO.

Responding, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the ministry had introduced many programmes to showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural and tourism heritage and potential.

He pledged the cooperation and support of the ministry towards the success of the EXPO 2021.