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SMEs: VP, Minister visit artisans in Mpape, Abuja suburb, assure assistance

In a rare show of recognition and readiness of the federal government to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) growth in the country, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibajo and Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed visited artisans plying their trade at Mpape, a growing suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The mission of the government officials was unscheduled as it took place while they were returning from the launch of the Aubja Digital Switch Over (DSO) held at the Head office of the major signal distributor, Pinnacle Communications Limited located within the Mpape Hills suburb.

Addressing the mammoth crowd made of small business operators and artisans who were amazed on the surprise visit, Vice President Osinbajo said “Government is fully aware that you exist and you contributions to the government will do everything possible to assist you in your endeavours”.

“The government of today is working to fine-tune your businesses so that you can stand better and grow bigger. There is no economy that can do without people and business operators like you.

Responding, the leader of the artisans, Obafemi Adeleye expressed huge delight on the visit of the top government officials and intimated the Vice president on their challenges ranging from access to fund, security of their stay at Mpape and business enabling infrastructure in Mpape.

He told the Vice President that “We small business operators at Mpape are grateful that the VP can find time to visit us and even have time to interact with us. We are humbled by that sir.

Another artisan called on the government to assist them in getting a permanent site so that the challenge of pursuing us from place to place will stop.

Also speaking, Mr. Kenneth Igor, a labourer hinted the entourage of the security challenges in the area, revealing that “Our members are not feeling safe here as we do not have security. Many a time, people’s food stuffs are being stolen even while on stove and light is another problem”.

“Currently, there is little or no labour work since few months ago. They call it recession but we cannot explain. Unlike before, we do have enough work and even chose those we want to do or not to do.

Responding, Vice President assured the traders and labourers that government will attend to their complains, saying the present administration understands the importance of small and medium enterprises in the efforts to move the economy out of recession.

He further noted that from time to time government will continue to visit areas where small and medium businesses operate to hear from them and assist them across the nation.