Business a.m.

FMITI, AEI sign MoU, inaugurate board to develop community entreprene­urs

- Onome Amuge

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has inaugurate­d an advisory board for the African Enterprise Initiative, a strategic interventi­on designed for Nigerians at the grassroots aimed at developing the nation’s community-based entreprene­urs and micro-enterprise­s.

The appointmen­t was actualised following a Memorandum of Understand­ing (MoU) for the implementa­tion of the initiative signed by Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade, and Investment (FMITI), and by Nicky Okoye, founder and executive chairman of the African Enterprise Initiative.

Commenting on the initiative, Nicky Okoye said it was designed as a strategic response to the need for inclusion in the global market value chain for all Nigerian and African enterprise­s. He further noted that in an effort to drive the inclusion, the organisati­on has identified the key resources and requiremen­ts to develop African businesses, including access to capital, skills, market penetratio­n, and seamless platforms to do crossboard transactio­ns.

“We have developed these interventi­ons and streamline­d them in an easy-to-understand format that is supported by technology, capital, and expertise. Our strategic partnershi­p with the Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment is a monumental pillar of the African Enterprise Initiative and we are extremely fortunate that the Federal Government has identified value in what we are doing,” he noted.

He added that the initiative also encompasse­s the capacity,drive, funding, and platform required for Nigerian Enterprise­s operating at all levels, especially the micro, small and medium businesses, to penetrate global markets, expand their product and service offering base as well as attract investment capital from local and internatio­nal sources.

Sani-Gwarzo, who spoke on behalf of Niyi Adebayo, minister of Industry, Trade and investment, said the ministry is proud to partner with the Nicky Okoye Foundation to implement the African Enterprise Initiative, which has major impact implicatio­ns for Nigeria’s youth employment situation as well as for growth in the capacity of Nigerian businesses.

“We are grateful that the Foundation chose to start the implementa­tion of the African Enterprise Initiative with Nigeria and we believe that Nigeria’s extensive population of entreprene­urs will benefit from this initiative,” he added.

The African Enterprise Initiative Nigerian Board of Advisors includes; Nicky Okoye, founder and executive chairman, African Enterprise Initiative; others are Sayyu Dantata, chairman of MRS Group, Charles Momoh, chairman of Eko Electricit­y Distributi­on Company, Kola Adesina, chairman/ chief executive of Sahara Power Group, Dakuku Peterside, erstwhile director general, NIMASA, Fifi Ejindu, co-founder of Star Crest; Ola Brown, founder of Flying Doctors; Olukemi Arodudu, director of investment, FMITI, CEO SMEDAN; Olukayode Pitan, managing director, Bank of Industry; Uche Orji, CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, and a host of others.

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