Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 13 April 2018 | 1,772 times
Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, on Thursday launched the micro and small holder farmers and enterprising youths programme in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State. He said at the occasion that no fewer than 600,000 Nigerians have so far benefitted from the Federal Government’s social intervention scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) for entrepreneurs.
The programme, which is aimed at helping farmers and youths, will provide the beneficiaries with N50,000 to N00,000 payable within six months free of interest except for five percent administrative charge, Osinbajo said.
GEEP micro credit is one of the Federal Government’s schemes designed to enable grassroots entrepreneurs have access to affordable credits to fund their businesses, especially in rural areas.
Speaking at the event, the Vice President disclosed that over 11,039 young graduates are to benefit from the second phase of the N-Power programme of the Federal Government. He said that government had gone further to refine the programme such that it would not just be a means to dole out monthly stipend to the beneficiaries, but would also make them independent and self-reliant.
The VP described Anambra State as a leading manufacturing giant and home of commerce, with Onitsha and Nnewi as the industrial hubs not only for the state economy, but for the country.
He hailed the State Governor, Willie Obiano, for creating the enabling environment for businesses and investments to thrive.
While giving assurance of the Federal Government’s sustained support, Osibanjo said: “Anambra is well recognised as an industrial centre and the state has carved a niche as an industrial and commercial hub of Nigeria and the Federal Government is committed to working with the state to attract more investments.
“The MSME is one of such investments where we will cooperate with the state because it contributes significantly to the growth of the national economy and also contributes to over 50% of the nation’s workforce.
“The clinic has further provided opportunity for the regulatory agencies to get closer to the small businesses. I urge the regulatory agencies not to be an obstacle but facilitators for easy access and registration.
“The Federal Government is for all Nigerians and it will continue to work with all states, including Anambra, which the state government had been developing with time.”
The VP advised that since the SMSEs had the opportunity of benefitting from the regulatory agencies, there was need to establish a one-stop shop in the state where the SMSEs, including the Bank of Industry, would operate from one point.
He, however, regretted the neglect of the SMEs by past administrations despite their enormous contributions, promising government’s assistance through easy access to funds and reduced cost in registration and other facilities.
In his speech, Governor Obiano hailed the Federal Government for the vision of setting up the MSME scheme, saying that the State Government would continue to key into the programme for the growth of small and medium enterprises.
He urged the Federal Government to create a special industrial master plan for the state, in view of the resourcefulness of her people.
The Governor also expressed the need for the critical support of the Federal Government to bring out the ingenuity of the people of Anambra State.
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