2015 ANNUAL REPORT
2015 marked the birth of our organisation, precisely on the 21st January 2015. Having set out to play a key role in the development and growth of the MSME sub-sector of the Nigerian Economy and to work in close partnership with other civil society organisations to continuously and consistently advocate for policies capable of turning around the fortunes of the sub-sector, we set out to achieve the following in the first year of our existence;
1. INITIATE PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER CIVIL SOCIETIES
2. FUNDING INTERVENTIONS INVESTIGATIONS/ PROBES
3. BOARD OF TRUSTEES FORMATION
4. NPC REGISTRATION
INITIAITE PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER CIVIL SOCIETIES/ NGOs
We have within the year 2015 established partnership with eleven (11) other civil society organisations/ NGOs for the purposes of working closely with them to broaden the scope of our work, find below a list of the organisations and a brief of our work with them.
A) ASSOCIATION OF NON-BANK MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS (NIGERIA BASED)
The association serves as the umbrella body for all non-bank microfinance institutions in Nigeria, and our partnership with the association is geared towards provision of capacity building programmes for select beneficiaries and also to provide risk management advisory services to the financial cooperatives.
We are also working with the association to deepen community microfinance institutions in Nigeria, the community microfinance institutions will help to drive the financial inclusion program of the Nigerian government.
B) CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (NIGERIA BASED)
We are partnering with the centre to push for the establishment of the NATIONAL COUNCIL ON MSME by an act of parliament. The council when established wills serve as the apex regulatory body for all other agencies/banks providing access to finance and support services to MSMEs in Nigeria.
We are presently consulting with stakeholders such as commercial and microfinance banks, MSME membership based association and other relevant stakeholders to provide inputs into the draft bill before it is presented at the floor of the National Assembly.
C) NETWORK OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN NIGERIA (NEPHWAN).
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between our organisation and NEPHWAN for the provision of entrepreneurship capacity building initiatives and access to micro-credit for establishment of small scale enterprises for its network of members across the country.
We are also working with the network to provide business management kits for its members already owning any form of business enterprise within the country, we will also be advocating for special package intervention programmes suiting the needs of the network members.
D) CONNECTED DEVELOPMENT
Connected development is a civil society organisation tracking funds disbursement and usage by government agencies in the field of health, education and the environment. We are leveraging on their wealth of experience to adopt models that will help us effectively track funds meant for MSMEs in Nigeria. We are presently working on a couple of joint advocacy projects with it and will jointly host a twitter event on March 5th 2015 to mark the open data/governance day celebrations.
E) YOUTH SERVICE AMERICA
We are a Nigerian partner to this network based in the United States of America, it is a network providing capacity building for youths and helping aggregate youths to actively participate in the development of their communities.
We conducted a global youth service day event here in Nigeria in March 2015 and received a GYSD community partner certificate in recognition for the event conducted here and slated for another GYSD community mobilisation event for April this year, 2016.
F) HOLY HILL RELIEF
Holy Hill Relief is the NGO arm of HOLY HILL CHURCH Nigeria; we have a running partnership with the foundation through which we train rural women within the Federal Capital Territory on entrepreneurship and business management ethics. We help the women manage the interest free loans advanced them by the church and ensure they promptly repay back as at when due so that other women can access the funds.
G) SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT FOR ARTISANS INITIAITVE
SUDAI is the umbrella body for all artisans in Nigeria, representing the interest of individual association members who are artisans. Our partnership with the organisation is geared towards helping it access capacity building activities for their members, advocating for increased government support and patronage for their members and helping to reposition its members along the demands of the present day world. We are currently carrying out a documentary to ascertain the actual spread of the organisation’s membership, its individual membership challenges and then commence a series of advocacy campaigns to get government pay greater attention to the challenges of artisans in Nigeria.
H) WOMEN FOUNDATION OF NIGERIA
As the name suggest, WFN is an NGO providing avenues through which women can attain economic empowerment, provide for the needs of their families and remain relevant in the schemes of affairs of the country. Our work is to jointly advocate with WFN on specific challenges faced by women, design and deploy business models that can be used to provide economic empowerment for women and other issues as they arise.
BUDGTIT is a social enterprise providing tools with which budgetary allocations are closely monitored in Nigeria, it seeks to track all budgetary allocations made out to all agencies of government in Nigeria. We are working with the enterprise to track all allocations made out to agencies covering the MSME sub-sector and recently had a twit session on twitter using the hashtag #MSMEFACTS to discuss disbursements from the 220bn MSMEDF initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
J) YOUTHHUB AFRICA
YOUTHHUB AFRICA is a youth led organisation mobilising Nigeria and African youths to continuously demand for government’s policies and programmes that will help uplift the living standards of the youths. We are presently undertaking a probe of all funding initiatives targeting MSMEs and youths in Nigeria with the organisation, particular emphasis is the YOUWIN programme of the last administration and the 220bn MSMEDF initiative.
K) WHEELS OF HOPE FOUNDATION
Wheels of hope is Lagos state based foundation providing access to education, healthcare and safe/ habitable environment for women and youths in Lagos and other neighbouring states of the south western part of Nigeria.
We are partnering with the foundation to help provide entrepreneurship capacity building trainings for beneficiaries of their projects and also advice on suitable micro-credit the beneficiaries can access to start-up or expand existing enterprises.
FUNDING INTERVENTIONS INVESTIGATIONS/ PROBES
We have undertaking and still in the process of probing/ investigating funding initiatives launched in the last five (5) years, the rationale behind this is the continuous assertion that access to finance remains a huge obstacle for MSMEs and or start-up enterprises despite the huge budgetary allocations to the agencies managing the sub-sector and amidst a host of funding initiatives totalling over 300bn for the sub-sector.
A brief report on our on-going probe activities is as detailed below;
A) CBN 220BN MSMEDF
The Central Bank of Nigeria launched the 220bn MSME development initiative in August 2013 to help grow the sub-sector and spur economic development and growth, our decision to probe the funding initiative arose when after two years into the funds lifetime, several MSMEs member based associations still complained of inability to access the funding initiative.
Our probe of the fund showed that as at August 2015 twenty four (24) state governments/ FCT administration had received over 39bn from the fund in the guise of disbursing same to MSMEs in the states, efforts to get the state governments/ CBN officials release details of beneficiaries have met several brick walls, despite requesting for the information under the FOI ACT. We are preparing to approach the courts to compel release of the information.
B) ITF, SMEDAN AND NDE
Industrial training fund, small and medium enterprise development agency and the national directorate of employment are all agencies of the federal ministry of investment, trade and industry saddled with the responsibility of providing access to finance and support services to MSMEs in Nigeria. We have undertaken a probe of the activities of the agencies in the last five (5) years with a view to understanding why they have all failed in developing the MSME sub-sector despite the huge budgetary allocations they keep receiving.
Our objective is to understand the common factors responsible for the inability of the agencies to spur the much needed development and growth for the sub-sector.
C) FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INVESTMENT, TRADE AND INDUSTRY
The ministry supervises ITF, NDE and SMEDAN and several other agencies such as Nigeria investment promotion council (NIPC), Nigeria export promotion council (NEPC) and the Nigeria export processing zones authority (NEPZA), the agencies all are saddled with responsibility of providing support services to MSMEs and quite sadly have failed in doing so.
We have set out to understand why the ministry has failed in effectively enabling these agencies to meet its set objectives despite the huge budgetary allocations they all receive both from the nations budgets and from donor agencies
BOARD OF TRUSTEES FORMATION
In the course of the year, 2015, we constituted our board of trustees namely;
HRH ALHAJI AHMADU YAKUBU
His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ahmadu Yakubu is the traditional ruler of Ankpa, Kogi State and before his ascension to the traditional stool of the Ejeh Ankpa had a successful working career in both the private and public sector. HE worked with the Central Bank of Nigeria for a considerable number of years and upon retirement was instrumental in the setting up of Dantata and Sawoe, a notable and leading engineering construction company in Nigeria. He brings on board our initiative a wealth of experience and network with which we have been continuously guided and enabled to carry on our task of supporting the MSME sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.
HON. NKOYO TOYO
She is a renowned activist, humanitarian and member of the 7th Nigeria National Assembly where she contributed immensely to the legislative debates and activities. She comes with a rich NGO background and a network of organisations and individuals propelling MSME-ASI to greater heights. She is presently coordinating our work on the proposed bill for the establishment of the NATIONAL COUNCIL ON MSME at the National Assembly and also our partnership with NEPHWAN.
NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION REGISTRATION
We began the process of registration with the ministry of budget and national planning late 2015 and hoping to complete the process first quarter 2016. We have furnished over 80% of the documentary requirements for the registration and have been invited for a presentation by the international corporation department of the ministry. It is our desire to conclude the registration process first quarter 2016 and follow up with a presentation on our position on MSME financing in Nigeria and seek a collaboration with the ministry to hold a stakeholders meeting on the imperatives of having the National Council on MSMEs on other related issues. ..