500,000 new businesses will spring up in Kogi before 2024 – Gov. Bello 

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500,000 new businesses will spring up in Kogi before 2024 – Gov. Bello

Story from Rabi’atu, Lokoja

Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello has promised to create over 500,000 new businesses in the state before the expiration of his tenure in 2024.

Bello made the promise on Wednesday in commemoration of the maiden edition of International Micro Small and Medium Enterprise, (MSME) Day with the theme, “MSME Growth: A Strategic Tool for Economic Development” held at the glass house in Lokoja.

The Governor who said the objective would be achieved through innovativeness explained that MSMEs account for 90 percent of businesses, 60-70 percent of employment, and 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worldwide.

He said MSME growth is a strategic tool for economic development, adding that, the theme of the event MSME Growth: A strategic tool for Economic Development” properly reflects the importance of the sector.

Bello stressed that MSMEs contribute to both the local and national economies, adding that, they also help to sustain livelihood, especially for the poor, women, youths, and other vulnerable people.

He recalled that when he took office as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State in January 2016, the state did not have much MSME eco-system or a dedicated agency like the Kogi State Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA).

According to him, the agency was created to coordinate their immediate and long-term needs, stressing that, Kogi State needed an outlet to engage and empower the teeming youthful population.

He maintained that MSME remains the major driver for economic growth, especially a none industrialised and developing society.

”I made it one of my priorities to create an agency through which we could encourage entrepreneurship and ultimately build a strong MSME in our state. This is why the 4th out of the five key thematic areas of our new direction blueprint is to build engagement of new ventures creation”.

He, however, lamented that for a very long time, people have depended on the government as the driver of the economy which has led to the over bloating of the workforce.

The Governor, however, commended the CEO of KEDA for her relentless effort in ensuring the success of the programme in Kogi State.

He said KEDA mandate is critical to the economic development of generations in Kogi State.

According to him, KEDA must improve the pace of its activities by bringing existing businesses and government in collaboration and bringing new entrepreneurs to explore the state.

Earlier in her remarks, the Managing Director/CEO, Kogi State Enterprise Development Agency, (KEDA), Hajia Rekiya Onaivo Sanni, said MSMEs have contributed enormously to job creation, income generation, trade, and inclusive growth.

She noted that despite efforts to stimulate the business environment, a lot still needs to be done to make MSMEs reach their full potential.

“It is against this backdrop that KEDA Is taking the step further by initiating the Kogi MSME Workshop, which is expected to set in motion the Kogi MSME Clinic – one of the strategies for making it easier to do business in Kogi State and increase revenue while decreasing unemployment.

”This project is expected to bring together businesses and government agencies to a series of business forums where MSMEs can interact and access opportunities for growth.

“This is in addition to some of the initiatives that the Yayaha Bello administration has put in place to stimulate and enhance business growth in Kogi State, some of which have started yielding great results.

”We are indeed grateful for the opportunity to be at the forefront of these initiatives. Part of our ongoing projects is the KG-CARES (COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus)”

She posited that KEDA is implementing Result Area 3, which seeks to mitigate the local effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kogi State by supporting the recovery of local economic activities, especially among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).

According to her, “As an agency, we will continue to provide productive interfaces and technical support for entrepreneurs in Kogi State to be fully equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to compete in the business environment even at the global level. I urge you all to consider this workshop as the contribution of the state government to support entrepreneurs in the state and boost your businesses,” she said.

Highpoint of the event included the unveiling of MSME’s clinic by Governor Yahaya Bello and the exhibition of different entrepreneurship skills in Kogi State.

The Kogi State Government has, however, adopted July 13th every year to commemorate world MSME day.

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