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Impacting Philanthropy for MSMEs in Nigeria: National Philanthropic Office (NPO) Unveiled

In a groundbreaking move aimed at bolstering support for start-ups in Nigeria’s Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, the federal government has inaugurated the National Philanthropic Office (NPO). This initiative, spearheaded by Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, is a collaborative effort between the private sector and the government, specifically under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Unveiling the National Philanthropic Office

The NPO is set to revolutionize the landscape of philanthropy in Nigeria. Established to bridge existing gaps in philanthropic endeavors, the office is designed to raise $200 million in grants and non-financial investments. The focus is on supporting start-ups in key sectors within the MSME space, ultimately contributing to job creation and economic growth.

Vice President Shettima emphasized President Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to philanthropy. Known for his belief in giving back to society, President Tinubu’s visionary leadership sets a strong foundation for the success and impact of the NPO.

Objectives and Operations

The NPO operates as a 100% private sector-driven initiative with robust government support. Its primary objective is to establish 12 industrial value-chain hubs and accelerators across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. These hubs will focus on digitized shared workspaces, agro-processing, and shared industries, with the overarching goal of generating one million jobs directly and indirectly within the MSME ecosystem.

Participating employers in the NPO enjoy extended validity periods for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), with permits lasting up to 36 months. The streamlined application process for subsequent LMIA requests for occupations on the Canadian Occupations Projection System (COPS) list further enhances the benefits for eligible employers.

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Inauguration and Support

During the inauguration of the Local Implementation Committee of the NPO, Vice President Shettima urged committee members to approach their roles with a collective vision. The initiative received widespread support from Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, representing Governors of the 36 states. The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment also commended the initiative for aligning with the goals of the Tinubu administration.

Ms Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke, the Country Chairperson of the NPO, highlighted the transformative potential of philanthropy and impact investing. She expressed gratitude for the visionary commitment of Vice President Shettima and emphasized the significant impact the NPO would have on the country’s investing landscape.

Chaired by Ms Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke, the Local Implementation Committee includes key figures from the private sector, such as the Managing Directors of Wema Bank, Bank of Industry, and Access Bank, among others. Their collective efforts aim to steer the NPO towards achieving its goals.

Conclusion

The National Philanthropic Office stands as a testament to the power of collaboration between the private sector and the government. As it embarks on its mission to support MSMEs and foster economic growth, the NPO represents a beacon of hope for the future of philanthropy in Nigeria.

For more information and updates, please visit National Philanthropic Office.

 

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