The Federal Government and Procter and Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative to launch the SME Development Academy in Nigeria.
A statement from Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) quoting Allafrica, stressed that the agreement was signed between the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, on behalf of the Federal Government, while P&G Director, Government Relations, Africa, Temitope Iluyemi, signed on behalf of the company.
The statement hinted that the strategic partnership is expected to leverage the ministry’s SME Academy Programme, which aims at delivering structured skills training, advisory and mentoring activities and services for selected Nigerian-owned SMEs within the academy’s scheme in order to produce better outcomes for communities, households and the country at large.
The minister said, “we have signed an MoU with Procter and Gamble who has shown keen interest in giving back to society, especially the Nigerian society. They have been in Nigeria for over 20 years and deemed it necessary to support SMEs because they believe these are the people who are their potential customers.
“From the government side, we have over 38 million SMEs and more growing everyday as we churn out graduates every quarter looking for jobs that we are unable to provide. The best thing to do is to develop SMEs by giving them enabling environment and to expand our private sector.
“This partnership we hope will open up the space for SMEs to contribute to the development of this country and for them to also become employers of labour. SMEs have proven to be indispensable to our economy, hence the need to help them scale up and achieve more. This partnership with P&G could not have come at a better time,” she maintained.
She added that the ministry is pleased that this PPP will complement the programme of the government to train SME Academy participants on key financial management principles and expose them to financial literacy, improve their access to finance and promote business ethics.
For her part, the P&G director said the objective of the MoU was to give back to the country by enhancing the skills of SMEs to become more competitive as well as able to operate on the global technological stage, being employers of labour, thereby contributing to the nation’s development.