Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria has what it takes to manufacture its own clean energy weapons, vehicles, trucks and cars, among others.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo made the presentation in his special speech at the 5th National Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Awards on Monday in Abuja.
The categories of the awards were Award of Excellence in Agriculture; Fashion and Style; creative art; Manufacturing; technology and innovation; Furniture and woodwork.
Others were the Outstanding MSME Clinic Award, Excellence in Beauty and Wellness Award, MSME of the Year Award, and Excellence in Leather Goods Award.
More so, Best MSME State in Agriculture was won by Edo, Best MSME State in Fashion won by Imo, Best MSME State in Innovation, Borno and Best MSME State in Support to politicians, Ogun.
The Vice President said that since its inauguration in 2018, the National MSME Awards had grown by leaps and bounds, attracting over 17,000 entries in 2022.
“It has become a prominent feature of the annual calendar of events for the MSME community in Nigeria, attracting thousands of potential business owners, established entrepreneurs, regulators and financiers.
“Requests for the awards have grown from 500 in 2018 to over 17,000 applications this year. Clearly, the interest shown in the awards by Nigerian entrepreneurs has been enormous.
“Over the past few years, winners in different categories have gone home with various prizes that have impacted their businesses and profiles – cash prizes, cars and, of course, local media attention and international.
“The accolade for the awards has also grown from a humble initial start of one star award-winning car in 2018 for MSME of the Year winner to 10 cars across all categories this year.
“This is to underscore the significant improvement that has been built between the private sector and the federal government over the years.”
Osinbajo said the awards also inspired many young entrepreneurs to greatness while some of the stories were nothing short of amazing.
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He said it was worth mentioning and congratulating the 2022 winners.
“They are, Peaklori Production Limited of Delta State, Excellence in Agriculture Award Winner; Nature’s Organic Secret from Niger, which won the NAFDAC/SMEDAN Award for Excellence in Beauty and Cosmetics.
“Abeni Prints of Oyo State, winner of the NEPC Award for Excellence in Creative Arts; Famkapparel from Lagos State, winner of the FIRS Award for Excellence in Fashion and Style.
“Tako Furniture of Sokoto State, winner of the ITF Award of Excellence for Furniture and Joinery; JMOFS Enterprises from Plateau State, which won the RMRDC/DBN Award in Leather Goods and Negs Empire from Imo State, winner of NEXIM Bank MSME Clinic Participant of the Year.
The Vice President said MSMEs tell the story of Nigeria’s great economic future.
He said Nigeria has all it takes to locally manufacture a wide range of products.
“We are ready to manufacture our own clean energy vehicles, trucks and cars, and we are well on our way to manufacturing our own weapons, armored mobile platforms and aircraft; we have everything you need.
“But I believe that MSMEs in technology and manufacturing, especially in clean energy or green economy, deserve a special mention.
“I am convinced that this sector will be crucial for global industrial development in the years to come and will lead Nigeria to economic prosperity. »
Osinbajo recognized the ingenuity of some of the innovators as they defined the future in terms of clean-energy automobiles and precision engineering.
He mentioned Thinkbikes Limited, the BOI award winner for excellence in manufacturing founded by Tolulope Olukokun, which produces solar and…battery-powered bicycles that can travel up to 50 kilometers on a single charge.
“The second is Phoenix Renewables Limited, the winner of the NITDA Innovation Award, founded by Mustapha Abubakar Gajibo.
“The company designs and builds electric and solar cars, tricycles as well as vehicle and engine parts.
“Vehicles are now being deployed for public transport in Maiduguri metropolis; by April they had carried more than 21,000 passengers; I had the singular pleasure of driving one of the electric cars when I visited the Phoenix Renewable Energy booth at the Borno MSME Clinic.
“The third is Clintonel Advanced Engineering Center, winner of the Access Bank MSME of the Year award, founded by Tochukwu Clinton Chukwueke; the company builds high-precision parts, molds medical equipment and automotive engine parts,” he said.
Osinbajo also congratulated the Governors of Edo, Imo, Ogun and Borno States who won outstanding awards in various categories in the MSME space.
Earlier, Mr. Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to the President for MSMEs and National Coordinator of MSME Clinics, said that the awards originated in 2018 when President Muhammadu Buhari requested an award program for MSMEs.
He said the president’s request was born out of his satisfaction with MSME clinics.
For his part, Hajia Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, commended the organizers of the award for their focus and perseverance over the years.
She added that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for new frontiers and expanded the space for MSMEs.