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Enugu Govt to Set Up SME Industries Worth N3.4B In All LGAs

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From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration in Enugu State, South- East Nigeria, says it has appropriated a total  sum of N3.4 billion in the 2020 budget for the establishment of a Small/Medium-sized Industry in each of the seventeen (17) council areas of the state.

This was revealed on Friday by the governor during the opening ceremony of the ongoing 31st Enugu International Trade Fair, held at the Fair’s permanent site complex, Enugu.

According to him,  an average sum of N200 million was appropriated for the project in each of the 17 LGAs, adding that the rural development cum job creation initiative is both government-driven and stakeholder-participatory, and  that the choice of the industry will depend on each of the local government’s comparative advantage.

He also disclosed that his administration has “registered eight (8) agricultural products brand trademarks including the Coal City Rice which will be launched soon, all in a bid to make the difference and give back to our people”.

Speaking on the theme of the Trade Fair, “Advancing the growth of SMEs through corporate governance for rapid economic development, the governor pointed out that it was very apt as it captured the mood of the nation as an emerging economy.

He maintained that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises /Businesses (SME) are the most potent drivers of the economy, especially in developing countries.

While hinting  that the state government has invested a lot of time and energy to position Enugu as a destination of choice for genuine investors, the governor stated that “our administration has continued to function as business and investment enabler through the provision of secure operating environment for business/investment, consistent and favourable policies, facilitation of all bureaucratic processes for starting and doing business, friendly tax regime, professional regulatory oversight role etc”.

“Our progress in this direction is self-evident in the leapfrogging of our state from its 2014 World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking as 27th out of 37 states (including FCT Abuja), to an enviable ranking as the 2nd State in Ease of Starting Business and 3rd State in Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria in the 2018 World Bank Ease of Doing Business sub-national ranking.”  

The governor, who welcomed the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Mariam Katagum and her entourage to the event, commended the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Sir. Emeka Nwandu and other members of the Chamber for organizing the 31st edition of the annual business programme “and showing the right sensitivity to the economic grasp of our country”.

Enugu government, he said also appointed a special adviser on SMEs and established a non-oil export desk aimed at driving the growth of SMEs in the state. 

“We have keyed into the world bank funded agro processing and the CBN funded Anchor borrowers’ program, commercial agricultural credit scheme as well as other development finance initiatives”.

Welcoming guest to the ceremony earlier,  president of ECCIMA, sir, Emeka Nwandu, had  appealed to the government to make policies that would favor the general empowerment of SMEs through the Chamber of Commerce as buffer for her members that are genuinely prepared to develop their business operations.

Nwandu however, called on Nigerians and particularly governments to encouraged indigenous investors in as much we need foreign direct Investment. saying ” This is so as no foreign investor that really means to invest in the.

” Nigerian economy would do so without element of risk sharing with local investors, this no doubt will also go a long way to mitigate the perception of high risk environment that has been tagged on Nigerian business environment especially by foreign investors.

He further appealed to the federal government to complete the development of Enugu International Trade Fair Complex as was done in Lagos and Kaduna.

African Examiner reports that the fair is being attended by booth local and foreign exhibitors, despite the current disease, Coronavirus ravaging the entire globe.


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