By Mike Adeyemi
The Kwara State Government has injected a cumulative of N3.2billion into Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) since the inception of the scheme in 2012.
The state Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed made this disclosure last Thursday while flagging off the 7th Kwara Trade Fair at the Baseball Park, Adewole, Ilorin.
The Governor who was represented at the event by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Susan Modupeola Oluwole said, “Our government signalled its determination in this regard in 2012 with a N250 million revolving loan to cooperative societies engaged in viable agriculture, transportation, trade and other businesses.
“Realising the importance of the informal sector to economic growth and job creation, my administration had, since inception, made the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)one of our priorities as envisaged and stated in the theme of this Trade Fair.”
Gov. Ahmed further said his administration has over the years grown the fund to a cumulative of N3.2 billion, with about 65,000 small business owners benefiting from the affordable credit provided under the scheme so far.
“In a further quest to boost the formal and informal sectors, we have also established a one-stop, the Kwara State Public-Private Partnership Bureau (KP3), for ease of doing business in the state and as a bridge between the investing public and the government,” Ahmed said.
The governor said his administration remains focused in its quest to fully exploit the state’s economic potential and expand its contributions to the National Gross Domestic Product (PDP).
“The challenge before us now is for high net-worth individuals and companies to step up their investment in the state.”
Speaking on his administration’s efforts to create a conducive atmosphere for investment, Ahmed said; “The state Government has liberalised land acquisition for investors, making for easy access to the procurement of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) with other incentives such as Tax Liberalisation and Tax Holidays. This is to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to come and invest in the state.
“I must also emphasise here that we have reformed taxation to streamline revenue generation, block leakages and eliminate double taxation. Indeed, I make bold to state that with the establishment of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), we have eliminated the incidence of double taxation in the state.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Alhaji Bayo Onimago, noted that the level of industrialisation and commercialisation is a yardstick for measuring development of the society.
“In the light of this, the Kwara State government has been working round the clock to strengthen the manufacturing sectors and remove all obstacles restraining the growth and competitiveness of the sectors in the state.”
Onimago said the manifestation of these efforts, since the inception of this administration abound across the state.
“For instance, the establishment of industrial and commercial ventures such as the International market at Amoyo, International Vocational, Technical & Entrepreneurship Centre, Ajase-ipo, One-stop shop for ease of doing Business, Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise and the Mass Transit Scheme to mention but a few.”
Earlier, the Chairman Planning Committee of the trade fair, Mr. Fatai Olalekan said the support of the state government made the trade fair a success.