The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah on Tuesday inaugurated a $160 million (about N49.2 million) World Bank supported initiative to improve access to finance as well as provide technical assistance to small and medium enterprises in order to boost job creation in the country.
Also launched, an online vehicle to properly execute the programme was the Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) platform.
BIG is landmark initiative of the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, which is funded by the World Bank and represents the main channel through which the Growth and Employment (GEM) assistance is expected to be made available to micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to stimulate economic activities in critical non-oil sector areas.
The minister noted that the initiative, which has a three-year-implementation time frame, would among other things, help to open up the nation economic space to more players, particularly small business operators. He said: “One of the challenges we have, which is well documented, is our ranking in the ease of doing business; it is depressing to know that Nigeria is ranked 169th of 189.