Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says there is a need to review the mode of regulation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
He said that this would provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Osinbajo stated this while inaugurating the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Convention Centre on Monday.
He said that the Federal Government had incentivised small businesses by reducing taxes.
“But I think that one of the drawbacks that we have had in improving the business environment is really with respect to how we regulate small businesses.
“For example, in Abuja, I hear very frequently, small businesses which talk about the kinds of problems they experience -either with fumigation licences or one licence or the other— all manner of constraints which ideally should not occur.
“I know that the Minister of FCT is actively working with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and that the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment have been concerned about making this work.
“But Abuja is just one example of how generally speaking, all over the country, we need to take a second look at how we regulate small businesses; we just need to take a second look.’’
The Vice President said that as part of the government’s policy, most of the major taxes had been removed.
According to him, corporation tax, if turnover is under N25 million, is zero.
“If you look at all the proposed Finance Bill, there are several incentives for small businesses and I think this is where the private sector must work very actively with us in ensuring that we are self-regulators and policemen and women of the regulations.
“I think the time has come for us to have a chamber of commerce paying very active attention to all that is going on in the MSMEs space especially with respect to regulation,’’ he said.
The Vice President urged business operators to expose government officials who were making it difficult for people to do business.
Osinbajo applauded ACCI for erecting such an impressive complex with purely voluntary private-sector effort.
He added that the gesture underscored the strength and dynamism of the private sector as a crucial component of economic development.
Earlier, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, the outgoing President of ACCI, said that the project was started three years ago with a view to promoting trade, business, and economy of Nigeria and creating opportunities for young people.
He commended the Vice President for being MSMEs friendly and urged him to use his position as chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) to mobilise further support for the MSMEs.
ACCI, established in 1986, is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, member-funded organisation solely representing the common interests of the business community in the FCT.