By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Presidency has established the first ever Nigeria Philanthropy Office (NPO), a private sector-led coordinating office domiciled in the Office of the Vice President.
Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs and Job Creation, Office of the Vice President, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the Federal Government in collaboration with International philanthropic organisations and partners would raise 200 million dollars to create jobs and support the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Adekunle-Johnson explained that the funds raised would be invested in key programmes and projects that would create opportunities for employment across different target sectors.
This, according to him, will facilitate growth in the MSMEs space.
He stated that the office would facilitate high level philanthropic support and impact investment for the MSMEs targeted sectors that have job creation potential.
He noted that the mandate of the new office aligns with the job creation vision of President Bola Tinubu and the administration’s ongoing work in the MSMEs space.
Adekunle-Johnson said that the office would contribute towards achieving the Federal Government’s job creation goals by working with donors, impact investors, financial institutions, and foundations.
This will enable them to catalyse key interventions with potential for employing many Nigerians.
” The office will specifically focus on providing catalytic and non-catalytic support for existing and new entrepreneurs in the following sectors.
” Fashion entrepreneurs, irrigation Solution, Solar Panel Facilities, Agro Processing, Mechanised Industrial Facilities, Furniture entrepreneurs, Sustainable Agribusinesses, Renewable energy solutions.”
Adekunle-Johnson added the office would support the establishment of 12 Mega Hubs and shared office spaces across the country.
He disclosed that the Vice President Kashim Shettima has appointed an implementation committee for the office.
According to him, the committee consist of local and international philanthropic and impact investing organisations.
Others are the financial institutions and the Bank of Industry (BOI), NEXIM Bank, Wema Bank, Access Bank and the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board.
He said that Ms Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke will serve as the Chairperson of the NPO and the implementation committee.
He added that Ekiyor-Solanke has over 23 years experience working in the international development, philanthropy and impact investment sectors.
Adekunle-Johnson stated that she is the current Chairperson of SME.NG, member of Nigeria’s National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NABII) and the Chairperson of the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC) in South Africa.
He also said that Ekiyor-Solanke has a law degree from the University of Buckingham, an MBA from Imperial College London and is currently completing a Doctorate at Cranfield University, UK.
Adekunle-Johnson revealed that the secretariat for the committee would be coordinated by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs and Job Creation. (NAN)
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi