By Jonathan Eze
The Kwara State Government has solicited for an increased technical and financial partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) to sustain entrepreneurship development in the state.
Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, explained that while a scheme designed to drive entrepreneurship development in the state had already been established, partnering BoI would help up-scale the initiative to achieve economic growth for the people of Kwara State.
Ahmed during a courtesy visit by the Managing Director, BoI, OlukayodePitan, stated that the state has also established an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) for processing most of its agricultural commodities, saying that the bankâ€™s technical and financial support are key to driving the EPZ.
â€œNo doubt, we are aware of the various supports you have given to entrepreneurship development in Kwara which had also triggered a lot of multiplier effects in other sectors in the state. We already have a scheme to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but we will be delighted to see a kind of partnership where the Kwara State government and BoI would merge our own initiative with theirs to achieve a mutual benefit for all,â€ he said.
Reaffirming his administrationâ€™s commitment to BoIâ€™s operations in the state, Ahmed said a lot of small businesses in the state would have closed shops if not for the prompt intervention programmes of the DFI.
â€œOur arms are wide open to receive you and we will take off from where we stopped, because we believe partnerships such as this, is critical to drive SMEs and industrial development,â€ he noted.
Â Earlier, the BoI boss the governor for his tireless efforts aimed at boosting SME development, pointing out that the bank had so far disbursed over N9 billion to support small businesses in the state.
â€œWe are here to solicit your partnership in respect of the N2 billion matching fund, we believe this initiative should be expanded to support more businesses and youths to be gainfully employed. This is the only way we can address the high unemployment rates in this country,â€ he said.
In other developments, the managing director in a guided facility tour paid courtesy visits to three factories who are also beneficiaries of the bankâ€™s intervention funds aimed at driving industrial development.
â€œIndustrialising Nigeria is the surest way to go to achieve rapid economic growth and development. We will continue to support viable businesses to grow because of the multiplier effects they have on the economy at large,â€ he said.