FG may appoint more ministers from AEA – Osinbajo

Punch Newspapers / Abdulfatai Ayobami Ibrahim / 4 hours ago

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has given an indication that more ministers will emerge from the Abuja Enterprise Agency.

He, however, did not give further details on whether he would soon dissolve the cabinet or sack some ministers to accommodate those he said would emerge from the agency.

Osinbajo gave the indication in a speech he delivered at the inauguration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic in Abuja on Thursday. He commended AEA for organising the MSMEs Clinic and others.

A copy of his speech at the event, which was made available to journalists by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, quoted the Acting President as saying it was great to know that the agency was funding some other MSMEs and that it intended to increase the funding.

Osinbajo said, “As you know, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment (Aisha Abubakar) is the former Managing Director of the Abuja Enterprise Agency. So, don’t be surprised to find that there would be more ministers coming out from the Abuja Enterprise Agency.”

It will be recalled that Osinbajo has not inaugurated two ministers-designate, Stephen Ocheni (Kogi) and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe),  more than two months after they were confirmed by the Senate on May 3, 2017.

Meanwhile, the Acting President has promised that the Federal Government is committed to supporting and developing MSMEs and will ensure that those which require funding are funded, those who require training are trained and necessary approvals granted speedily.

He said, “It is not an easy task funding MSMEs because sometimes it is difficult to know who is where but one of the great advantages of what we are doing, especially the Abuja Enterprise Agency, is that we know exactly where you are.”

Osinbajo pointed out that the future of Nigeria was in small and medium-size businesses.

He added, “We recognise that one of the chief problems that small businesses have is with regulatory agencies; and being able to access regulatory agencies to get quick and efficient service from regulatory agencies. Secondly, funding is also an important constraint for many of these small businesses.

“So we thought that it would be wise to take these regulatory agencies to the small businesses rather than wait for the small businesses to come to the regulatory agencies. What we have seen so far is that there has been tremendous improvement in the way the regulatory agencies respond to small and medium enterprises.

He said it was for this purpose that he recently signed two Executive Orders closely related to improving the business environment for MSMEs.

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