The country director of the GIZ in Nigeria, Dr. Marcus Wagner, says the Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), has impacted Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across different value chains across the 36 states of the federation.
NICOP, a four-year project commissioned in 2018 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union.
It has finally concluded its implementation in Nigeria.
Speaking at the closing ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, Wagner stated that NICOP, implemented by the GIZ Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme SEDIN, has made significant strides in promoting structural transformation, enhancing coordination and linkage, and improving access to regional and international markets for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
“Since its commencement in April 2019, NICOP has focused on inclusivity and innovation to improve competitiveness throughout tomato, ginger, chilli, leather, and garment value chains as it has empowered MSMEs to seize opportunities, add value, and improve livelihoods in the focal states of Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos, Abia, and Kebbi.
“All activities have continuously supported women to deliver meaningful opportunities for economic empowerment through capacity development and better access to more diverse markets,” he explained.
Speaking further, Wagner added that NlCOP has extend beyond economic impacts as the project has also contributed to positive gender outcomes and has explored opportunities to incorporate digital and green solutions in proposals moving forward.