Nigeria Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stated on Thursday that a one-stop shop for investment approvals and licensing of products will be established in August, in Ogun State, South west Nigeria, to bring the authorities closer to businesses in the state. He stated this on Thursday while speaking at the 7th Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, Clinic held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Professor Osinbajo said Governor Ibikunle Amosun had consented to the establishment of the one-stop shop which would bring all the agencies such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the Bank of Industry, BOI, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, among others to Ogun State, to enable them be closer to investors in the state.
According to the acting president, the one-stop shop would ensure that, after the clinic, the MSMEs would continue to have the agencies close to them for continuous interactions and accessibility.
He said: “I’m sure that many of us who are exhibiting would have seen the Bank of Industry officials, NAFDAC officials, SON officials, the whole range of authorities that license products that give approval for products. We have brought them so that small businesses can interact with them, talk to them and find what benefits they can derive from them in one way or the other.
But what we want to leave behind is not just to bring them over for a few hours and then they leave. We are working on them starting some type of one-stop shop here where SON, NAFDAC every one of those authorities will have their offices here in Ogun State. “
Professor Osinbajo said the various policies and programmes embarked upon by government had changed the orientation of officials of agencies of government, making them more responsive to the needs of businesses.
He said the function of the agencies was not to create obstacles that could hinder the seamless operation of small businesses but to ensure an environment that would facilitate the ease of doing business.
He said: “And I’m sure that you find that NAFDAC and SON are now more responsive than ever before because their orientation is changing. We decided that we must make our regulatory authorities know that their business is to facilitate the small and medium businesses not to create obstacles. It is to make it easier not to make it more difficult. “
Professor Osinbajo also restated government’s committed to end the importation of rice in Nigeria in 2018.
He said the importation of rice from such countries as India, China and Thailand created jobs for people in those countries and enriching farmers there.
He said farmers in Nigeria would benefit more if their produce was bought and consumed in the country.
He said: “Every time that we insist and say that we must stop importation and grow locally, what we are saying is that we must empower our own people. If we insist as they do in India and other places that we will buy and use our locally made products then our people will be rich and prosperous.”
Also speaking, the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, said that the programmes of his administration has attracted over 500 companies to invest in the state in the last six years.
He said the acquisition of land to establish businesses in the state had been liberalized and urged the people of the state to continue to support businesses in the state.
Professor Osinbajo had earlier inspected the exhibitions mounted by over 100 local producers in the state.
He was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment.