Boosting Abia Economy Through SMEs Value Chain |- By Kingsley Maduforo
The Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) are pivotal to the economic growth and development of the state ,especially as the government wants to diversify the economy in the aftermath of declining revenue due to plummeting prices.
|Abia State Tower | Umuahia, State Capital|
To this end, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state upon assumption of office drive the infrastructural renewal and economic growth of the state. The economic climate of the state is now favorable and small and medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) and businesses are springing back. The Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are regaining their strength because of the platform laid down for them, more specially those in the city of Aba ,which is the commercial hub of the state.
The “Aba Made Goods” products are gaining back their lost glory. All these are happening because of the new favorable policies laid down for the SMEs in the state by Gov. Ikpeazu administration. Ikpeazu, is a man who understands the importance of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and the need to give it a proper attention to help boost the economy of the state and increase her IGR. That same understanding made Aba to witness a transformation when he was the Deputy General Manager of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency which he prepared himself by sweeping the street of Aba and he continues to sweep.
Thus, Governor Ikpeazu has identified road infrastructure as a strategic roadmap towards recovering the drowning economy. Aba as the commercial hub of the state and the center for SMEs must get that much needed attention especially in the area of road construction. What is more, Aba represents the resilience and enterprising spirit of the Igbo nation and serves as a point of convergence of men and cultures. Aba has provided the highest Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) market for the South – East and South – South geo – political zones in the history of commerce in Nigeria.
For instance, the artisans in Aba, have the potential and capacity to positively produce and launch local brands to the world. Aba artisans are well known in the fabrication of equipment and tools, garments , finished leather products, shoes, belts, bags and other sundry production capabilities to compete globally, this will help grow the economy of the state.
The state under Gov. Ikpeazu watch, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industry (BoI) in respect of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) marching fund, which would soon be released for the commercial ventures. Under the agreement, the BoI will provide one billion naira for SME Development Fund for Abia entrepreneurs. The Governor has assured that beneficiaries of the facility would be held accountable. He is optimistic that the opportunity provided by the bank would help boost the state’s economy.
To sustain the state economically, there is need to diversify, and the keys to this can be described as agriculture, trade and commerce with bold steps in Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. Governor Ikpeazu has set a pragmatic and coherent economic agenda to rescue Abia from Nigeria’s economic quagmire, in all of its diverse aspect, is now an escape from the mono – product economy the past government bequeathed to the present administration. And in no distant time, the state would begin to harvest the socio-economic dividends of the governor.
In his quest of making Aba the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) capital of Nigeria, has made him establish the Aba Urban Renewal, which will drive the new effort towards the infrastructural renewal of the city and to transform Aba to a city of basic modern amenities.
.....Article by Kingsley Maduforo