Following the far-reaching economic reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in Edo State, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, has expressed interest to collaborate with the state in boosting the capacity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to scale their operations and increase productivity in the state.
This was disclosed by the Senior Economist, IFC, Denny Lewis-Bynoe, who led a delegation of the IFC on a courtesy visit to the Government House, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Lewis-Bynoe said the delegation was on a two-day visit to the state to assess the private sector scene, especially the operating environment for SMEs, so as to fashion support instruments for their growth.
According to her, “We want to help businesses and also improve the ease of doing business in Edo State and Nigeria. So, the IFC is in Edo to have a detailed assessment of the private sector and come up with strategies to improve their businesses.”
She said part of their assignment was to directly engage with the stakeholders in the sector to understand their challenges, assess avenues for building a support structure and ensure that the state puts modalities in place to help them grow.
She stressed that the report of the team will guide the bank in developing strategies to assist the private sector in Nigeria.
The Acting Governor, Shaibu called on the World Bank to develop strategies for commercial banks to better support small scale businesses in Nigeria.
According to him, “We are running a government that is private-sector-driven. We are lucky to have Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is private-sector oriented. Governor Obaseki championed the economic team of the former governor, Adams Oshiomhole. We have had a robust relationship with World Bank in the last few years, and we look forward to strengthening the partnership with you.”