The Federal Government on Monday extended by three months the 50 per cent discount it offered operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to register their company names.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo announced this during the first quarter MSMEs stakeholders’ meeting, which was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He explained that the government’s action was informed by the success so far recorded in the 50 per cent discount window.

For instance, reports showed that small business registration grew from “54,000 to 163,000 within six months” of approving the discount.

The government, through the Corporate Affairs Commission, started applying the discount since in October 2018.

It involved reducing the fee for the registration of a business name from N10,000 to N5,000 to help MSMEs formalise their operations.

Osinbajo at the event also asked both the Standard Organisation of Nigeria and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to quickly resolve issues relating to the overlapping of their functions to ease business operations.

The VP also challenged the stakeholders to rack their brains and come up with suggestions on how best to finance small business outlets in the country.

“Having listened to all the issues raised in the report and from your various contributions about funding, I think you should come up with suggestions on better funding for start-ups and MSMEs.

“We need to address this issue as quickly as possible”, a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, quoted the VP as saying.

The Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Mr Kayode Pitan, at the session, called for “MSMEs to establish a company to de-risk BOI loans to MSMEs.”

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