We‘ve Appropriated N3.4bn for SMEs in 17 LGAs, Says Ugwuanyi

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, yesterday, said his administration had appropriated N3.4 billion in the 2020 budget for the establishment of a Small/Medium-sized Industry in each of the 17 local government areas of the state.

Ugwuanyi, who spoke during the opening ceremony of the 31st Enugu International Trade Fair, held at the Trade Fair Arena, Enugu, disclosed that an average sum of N200 million was appropriated for the project in each of the 17 LGAs.

The governor explained that the rural development cum job creation initiative were both government-driven and stakeholder-participatory, adding that the choice of the industry would depend on each of the local government’s comparative advantage.

He also disclosed that his administration had “registered eight agricultural products brand trademarks including the Coal City Rice which would be launched soon, all in a bid to make the difference and give back to our people”.

Speaking on the theme of the Trade Fair, ‘Advancing the growth of SMEs through corporate governance for rapid economic development’, the governor pointed out that it was very apt as it captured the mood of the nation as an emerging economy. He maintained that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises/Businesses (SME) were the most potent drivers of the economy, especially in developing countries.

While disclosing that the state government had invested a lot of time and energy to position Enugu as a destination of choice for genuine investors, the governor stated that “our administration has continued to function as business and investment enabler through the provision of secure operating environment for business/investment, consistent and favourable policies, facilitation of all bureaucratic processes for starting and doing business, friendly tax regime, professional regulatory oversight role etc.”

According to him, “our progress in this direction is self-evident in the leapfrogging of our state from its 2014 World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking as 27th out of 37 states (including FCT Abuja), to an enviable ranking as the 2nd State in Ease of Starting Business and 3rd State in Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria in the 2018 World Bank Ease of Doing Business sub-national ranking.”

The governor, who welcomed the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Mariam Katagum and her entourage to the event, commended the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agricultu re (ECCIMA), Sir. Emeka Nwandu and other members of the Chamber for organising the 31st edition of the annual business programme “and showing the right sensitivity to the economic grasp of our country.”