From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has taken a swipe at some Federal Government agencies directly involved in promoting business enterprises in the country, accusing them of being a hinderance to doing business with ease in the country.
He particularly claimed the agencies were disconnected from government’s plans to recover the economy.
Osinbajo accused them of deliberately deploying bureaucratic bottlenecks to stifle the growth of small scale enterprises and in the process hamper job creation and the desired industrialisation.
The Acting President at the official launchning of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), clinics at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, lamented the challenges faced by MSMEs in doing businesses in the country, disclosing that the performance of these agencies will be tracked henceforth beginning with the clinics which will go round 21 cities beginning on Thursday in Abia and will end on December 17th in Kano.
According to him “Nigerians complain about how is practically difficult to get approval on practically everything when I toured the nation with the support of USAID. The whole idea was to support MSMEs and to find out what their problems were. But almost every stand I went to had complains about how it was so difficult to get approvals for practically anything. I was frankly taken back on that occasion because practically every point we went to had the same complaint. We also went to Kano on one of our social intervention programme and it was the same problem, same issues”.
Osinbajo also disclosed how some small manufacturers told him that they had to engage consultants to take them through approval processes and it still took over a year to get approval from some agencies.
On the revelation at the Second Presidential Business Forum, Osinbajo said, “Just yesterday (Monday) at the quarterly business forum with the organised private sector, one of the participants again complained very loudly about the near impossibility of getting approvals for manufacturing something. The complain was so loud that everybody in the room agreed with this lady.
“This was for me a very disturbing finding and very disturbing development because it meant that our agencies were yet to buy in to our major plan of economic recovery plan which is to make it easier to do business in Nigeria.
“It is also an indication that we needed to do something to change the orientation of our various agencies.