SMEDAN has been positioned by government to assist business owners – Princewill Ojeh

Princewill Ojeh

The National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Chairman Delta State, Princewill Ojeh has revealed that the government has strategically positioned SMEDAN to assist business people. He made this statement during the maiden edition of NASSI summit in Abuja Excerpts:

May we know you officially?

I am Princewill Ojeh, I am the Chairman of National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Delta State, and I am here as a member of the steering committee that put some of these packages together. And I am also a delegate.

What is your take on this first of its kind summit?

I think it is a very good beginning. NASSI has been in existence for a very long time and ably represented in so many events in various ministries and government agencies. We have never had such an opportunity to come together to brainstorm from bottom up to find succor and answers to our common problems. So I think what has been done this period, or this time is a welcome development that I hope should be sustained, and evaluated from time to time.

Do you believe that at the end of the day there will be a better turnaround?

I strongly believe that things have come to change. When you provide leadership and add openness to it, a lot of things come out of it positively.

And I also know that the team that has been put in place that has packaged this summit, from my privileged information, also intends to do the evaluation and monitor the implementation of the various communiqué that will come out of this discussion. So I am quite hopeful that we will begin well in NASSI.

How can the outcome help an average small scale business owner?

Very simple, although they did not allow us to talk generally or talk so much about our problems. I am enamored by the mention of Presidential Order 5. I am also impressed with some of the capabilities of the various agencies. All we need to do now is harness their various activities, streamline it and create various stop gaps where the access to information, access to funding for the private sector people or for industrialists will be very easy.

For instance, you 

For instance, you do not need to ask an industrialist in Kano or in Bayelsa State to travel to Abuja with his or her product to come and get a license. You don’t need to do that. All you need to do is to ask him or her to take that product to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) office in his or her state. SMEDAN office will now liaise with the standard organization of Nigeria, with NAFDAC and take care of all that needs to be done.

The person spends less money, concentrates on his or her core mandate of business and then gets the result that would have been gotten if he had gone by himself. Those are the things they should concentrate to do; to be the father and mother of small scale industrialists; to be the one to bear their pains because SMEDAN has been strategically positioned by the government to undertake such functions.

What is your take home from the event?

My take home today, is that by the time they are done with all these things today, I think that there will be a kind of financial reengineering that will create a way forward for the entrepreneurs, in a way that you do not need to, when they say 89%, it 89% irreplaceable.

For instance, the banks will no longer have to ask you, or other financial institutions, like BOI, NISRL, they don’t need to ask you to go and provide the 10% of the money you are looking for, and then you invest it in their microfinance bank.

You go and get two guarantors. And you will now go and obtain group life insurance. You also go and pay 2% insurance. You don’t need that. And you tell the world that it is at 9%, a single digit interest rate, No! We must use this opportunity to rid of all those obstructions in the life of business entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

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