Okeke Celestine is a passionate advocate of #OPengovt and #opendata and has consistently advocated for the Nigerian government to allow open access to its financing and support for MSMEs (micro,small and medium enterprises) with a view to allowing for independent assessment of its financing and support for the MSMEs especially in the fields of agriculture and nutrition, information communication technology and small scale industrialists.

Okeke Celestine is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Political Science and obtained an MSC in Political Economy and Development Studies from the Nasarawa State University, he has also enrolled for an MBA in Entrepreneurship studies in the same university. He is a certified Business Processes Mentor from the Mentoring University, Boston MA, United States of America having served on the YEN MARKETPLACE ( creation of ILO, UN AND World Bank) as a mentor for young African entrepreneurs. He is presently Lead Partner- Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Advocacy and Support Initiative.

MSME-ASI was conceived and established to serve as a veritable tool for provision of non-financial services to MSMEs in Nigeria and also as an advocacy and campaigns platform for the engagement of government and its agencies saddled with the responsibility of supporting MSMEs on policy formulation and implementation.

He has used the MSME-ASI platform to initiate the review of the past five years activites of the following agencies • Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) • National Directorate of Employment (NDE) • Industrial Training Fund (ITF) • Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) • Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria.

The reviews are done with a view to having an independent understanding and appraisal of the workings of the agencies listed above, outcomes of the reviews can be found on MSME-ASI website. He presently established a hub for women in business in the FCT, the hub is dedicated to providing non-financial services for women entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs in the FCT.

He is also working in partnership with the management of Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria to develop and deliver income generating activities for PLWHA in Nigeria with a view to halting the overly dependence on donor funding by PLWHA in Nigeria to meet basic needs such as buying ART drugs. A pilot phase of the project is been undertaken with the Defence health club (covering Nigeria Army, Navy and Air force).

Okeke Celestine has a vision to use MSME-ASI as a vehicle to double the share of people preferring self-employment to being an employee in the next five (5) years and seeks partnership across all boards to achieve this.

Okeke Celestine @okekecc @advocacy_msme