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