The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his administration has provided the sum of N2 billion as credit facility at single digit interest rate to micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the state.
He said the move became necessary in order to drive the state’s economy through the contributions of small businesses.
Speaking at the Edo State Special Day at the on-going 2019 Abuja International Trade Fair (2019AITF) organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the governor also said his administration had achieved 75 per cent job creation out of the 200,000 jobs that it had promised to create for its citizens.
Represented at the trade fair by the State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, Obaseki said the administration was creating an enabling environment which is driven by the private sector to identify as well as build on talents among the youths.
He said: “It has been one of our cardinal pillars to develop our youths and we have arranged to give our young ones skills and these skills are not just for the artisans but also for graduates because you know they said some of our youths are not employable even when they have the certificates.
“So, we have created a skills acquisition programme both for artisans and graduate and we have created an artisan hub, what we call the industrial hub where you can come and establish your small businesses and there’s 24 hours power for you to optimise the benefits of creating something.”
He said: “For us in Edo State, you must earn a living and the only way we can earn a living is when you are skilled. Skilled labour is what we emphasise in Edo and we are not only emphasising it, we are creating it.”
Also, speaking at the exhibition, Edo State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mr. Felix Akhabue, told THISDAY that government was further making inroad into agriculture as well as teaching the youths new skills to make them successful in the sector.
He said:”We also have an agency called Edojobs, training our young ones on skills and we are also taking our people back to the farm because in the past, agriculture used to be that sector of the economy which used to engage majority but for a very long time, we have left that sector when we discovered crude oil.”
According to him: “As you know, the government of Edo State is doing a lot in the area of creation of jobs because if we don’t actively and consciously do things that will create jobs in our various states today in Nigeria, I may sure tomorrow we will not be able to close our eyes and sleep because there is so much unemployment.
“But the most unfortunate thing is that most of our young ones were trained as if white-collar jobs were going to be available for them when they leave school.
But the truth is that white-collar jobs are not available and they can’t be available.
“And you will find that like what is happening in the developed world today, it is the private sector that engage over 70 per cent of the population that are being employed.
Therefore, Nigeria must go that way and Edo State has started.
“We are looking at the private sector. We are already collaborating with the private sector, Edo state governments is creating the enabling environment for business to thrive: we are encouraging the SMEs in the state to the extent that.”