The Nigerian Government and Procter and Gamble Nigeria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see both parties collaborate on a public-private partnership initiative to launch the SME Development Academy.
The agreement which was signed between the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar and P&G Director, Government Relations, Africa, Temitope Iluyemi, is expected to leverage the ministry’s SME Academy Programme, which aims at delivering structured skills training, advisory and mentoring activities and services for selected Nigerian owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Speaking on the partnership, Abubakar said “today we signed an MoU with Procter and Gamble who has shown a lot of interest in giving back to society especially the Nigeria society”.
According to the Minister, “this partnership is one that we hope will open up the space for SMEs to contribute to the development of this country and for them to also become employers of labour”. She said “SMEs have proven to be an important part of our economy, hence the need to help them scale up and achieve more. This partnership with Procter and Gamble could not have come at a better time”.
She added that “the ministry is pleased that this public private partnership will support the programme of the government to train SME Academy participants on key financial management principles and expose them to financial literacy, improve their access to finance and promote business ethics”.
Also addressing the partnership, Iluyemi said the objective was to give back to the country by enhancing the skills of SMEs to be more competitive, as well as ensure they are able to operate on the global stage, being employers of labour, thereby contributing to the nation’s development.
The Director said “this partnership demonstrates Procter and Gamble’s commitment to be a force for good and a force for growth. We are committed to empowering SMEs and helping them get adequate skills for the success of their business. Our ultimate aim is to see small businesses grow and contribute to the overall growth of our nation’s economy”.
Iluyemi revealed that “Procter and Gamble through various programmes and partnerships over the years collaborated with private and government organisations to empower and develop capacity of Nigerians through collaborative projects with organisations including the UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and other Women NGOS and foundations in different parts of the country”.