The Kwara State Government has put in place strategies to ensure the growth and development of Small and Medium enterprises in the State.
The State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed stated this today in Ilorin while inaugurating the Executives of the State Artisans Congress.
Governor Ahmed represented by his Deputy, Elder Peter Kisira, noted that the State had injected about N2.2 billion to support entrepreneurs including artisans through various credit schemes and allocated 500 million naira in this year`s budget for the same purpose.
The Governor explained that the informal sector has been accepted globally as a crucial generator of income, goods and services and employment, hence the attention given to the sector.
He stated that 100million naira revolving loan was distributed to artisan groups across the sixteen local government areas and also distributed about 150taxis, 25 buses and 193 motorcycles to 53 associations under the State Artisan Congress.
Governor Ahmed disclosed that the state government is to commence a five-year tax relief regime for new small business owners to promote economic growth and ensure development of the State.
The Governor reassured that government has not introduced new taxes but had succeeded in blocking leakages in the collection of revenue through the State Internal Revenue Service thereby increasing the State Internally Generated Revenue.
He stressed that the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College was established aimed at empowering youths with modern vocational skills and create next generation of Nigerians entrepreneurs.
Governor Ahmed charged the State Artisan Congress to position the body as an important player in economic growth for the benefits of its members.
Also in his goodwill message, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki thanked members of the Congress for their support and prayer towards the uplift of the State.
Saraki, who was represent by Alhaji Alli Olola, pledged to assist members of the Congress to expand their businesses.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Artisan Related Matters, Mr Oyedele Adetula, said government had created enabling environment for Artisans to strive in their businesses despite the recession and other economic challenges faced by the present administration.
The Immediate Past President of the Congress, Alhaji Abdullahi Lanky, commended Governor Ahmed for his support and assistance to the Congress.
The Chairman of the State Labour Congress, Comrade Yekini Agunbiade and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Comrade Sunday Alabi, called on members of the Congress to maintain peace and join hands with the government in the development of the State.
In his acceptance speech, the New President of the Congress, Alhaji Saad Alawaiye, who called for the support of government, pledged to work for the uplift of the welfare of members.