Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi said on Wednesday that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) were essential for the livelihood of citizens and the growth of the national economy.
The Governor made the remark while declaring open the first edition of the State’s MSME Workshop in commemoration of the International MSME Day in Lokoja.
Bello said records showed MSMEs accounted for 90% of businesses, 60-70% of employment and 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) globally.
“It is a fact that MSMEs are the engines of our economy and so there should be deliberate and careful efforts to boost the businesses of our committed and determined young men and women.
“This explains why, at the beginning of my administration, we decided to establish the Kogi Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA) to ensure that our entrepreneurs are well encouraged.
“By the grace of God, my administration will create over 500,000 new businesses in the state before my term expires in 2024.
“As governor, I want to leave the citizens of Kogi a very robust and vibrant economy that will stand the test of time long after I’m gone,” he pledged.
The governor announced July 13 each year as the day the state would celebrate International MSME Day.
He charged the workshop participants to fully participate, contribute and put into practice the knowledge gained.
Earlier in her welcome address, KEDA Managing Director, Hajia Rekiya Onaivo-Sanni said that the contribution of MSMEs to job creation, income generation, trade and inclusive growth should be celebrated. .
“Despite this achievement, there is still much to be done for MSMEs to reach their full potential to further energize our economy.
“It is in this context that KEDA has taken a further step by launching the Kogi MSME workshop, which should start the Kogi MSME clinic.
“It is one of the strategies to make it easier to do business in the state and increase income, while reducing unemployment,” she said.
According to her, the project is expected to bring together businesses and government agencies in a series of business forums where MSMEs can interact and access growth opportunities.
“As an agency, we will continue to provide productive interfaces and technical support to Kogi entrepreneurs so that they are fully equipped with the skills and expertise needed to compete in the business environment, even at the global.
“This is in addition to some of the initiatives Governor Yayaha Bello’s administration has put in place to stimulate and enhance business growth in Kogi. Some of them have started showing great results,” Onaivo-Sanni said.
She added that KEDA was implementing Result Area 3, which would mitigate the local effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kogi by supporting the resumption of local economic activities, especially among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
She urged participants to view the workshop as “the contribution of the state government to support entrepreneurs and energize your businesses.”