FIC Report (Abia State) – Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says his administration has positively impacted on over 1000 start up businesses between 2015 and now.
The Governor was speaking at Dr. Michael Okpara Auditorium Umuahia at the occasion of the 2022 World MSME Day.
The Governor promised that his government will continue to encourage and support more businesses as Abia is the SME Capital of Nigeria.
He stated that his choice of SME as one of the cardinal pillars of his government is because Abians are gifted in SME adding that it is for that reason that his government decided to mainstream SME as well as dedicate a full fledged Ministry for the development of SMEs in the State.
Governor Ikpeazu stated that idea, funding and patronage are essential in SME development, and encouraged all who may want to venture into SME to think of the power embedded in them. He ,however,enjoined all to be willing to learn, act and also exhibit honesty.
The Governor recalled that between 2015 and today, Abia State has consistently won National Awards in the SME sub- sector and appreciated an Awardee from Abia, Mr. Tochukwu Clinton Chukwueke who emerged the Access Bank Overall MSME of the Year Award with the sum of One Million Naira, tasking him to use the money to further strengthen his business.
The Governor also presented winners who were selected for their business proposals with start up funds ranging from 250-750 Thousand Naira each.
Earlier in her speech, the Commissioner, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Lady Adaku Oseiza pointed out that Abia is not lagging behind in SME Development as Abia SME has scored many firsts including setting up the Enyimba Automated Shoe Company, establishing an SME Bank tailored towards helping small businesses to thrive among others.
She noted that Abians have consistently won various categories of MSME Annual Awards sponsored by the Office of the Vice President, stressing that Abia SMEs under Governor Ikpeazu has made progress and could eminently pass the International best practices parameter set up by the United Nations.
The ceremony witnessed goodwill messages from Stakeholders in the SME sector, including the Managing Director of the Abia SME Microfinance Bank and a Representative of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) while the Governor later unveiled the first Abia SME Business Directory.
Members of the State Executive Council, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor and other top Officials of the State Government witnessed the event.