OGUN State government on Tuesday, November 5, entered into a partnership with the Bank of Industry, BOI, to provide N1 billion for the Small and Medium Enterprises sector in the state. Ibikunle Amosun, governor of the state, said the loan window was aimed at providing funds to address internal issues in trade promotion within the state.
“We are using this as a forum to stabilise the trade of our people, especially those in small businesses, who may not have easy access to bank loans. What we do is to serve as the bridge between them and the financial institutions so that they can have access to funds,” he said.
The governor said the task of promoting trade in the state was the responsibility of the government and the organised private sector. He added that based on the understanding of the economic importance of trade, the state was also working on providing tax incentives to investors, depending on their business and location in the state.
According to him, the state was also working on increasing agricultural production as a key sector for economic development. Bimbola Ashiru, commissioner for commerce and industry, who also spoke, said the state, in collaboration with the private sector, was building a profitable value chain in important sectors of the economy, especially in agriculture. “Agriculture remains the most viable option to get out of the economic rot that petro-dollar has brought upon this nation; it is the only area where we wield the greatest comparative advantage,” he said.
Ashiru said investment in agriculture and agro-allied products was often despised by investors, but it remained a rewarding venture that was capable of fetching good foreign exchange in the international market.
The commissioner said the state government was working on mobilising available resources towards creating the enabling environment that would stimulate growth and development in the area of infrastructure, security, health care delivery and urban renewal. “We are on the lookout for enduring partnerships with well-intentioned investors in our quest for economic transformation of the state. The wheel of positive economic change is slowly but assuredly turning,” he said.
Capital Market Nets N589 Million in 14 Years
THE Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has disclosed that N589 billion has been raised from the Nigerian capital market from 1999 to date. Arunma Oteh, director general, SEC, said the capital market serves as a platform for mobilising long term funds for various projects.
She made the disclosure during the 17th Annual Conference of SEC, held in Lagos. According to her, one of the standards of measuring a nation’s development is the level of infrastructure provided for its citizens. “Government across the world faces the challenges of providing adequate and affordable infrastructure. One of the major constraints is the lack of funds to adequately address infrastructural needs,” Oteh said.
She noted that there are various financing models available for the nations to use in funding infrastructural needs. She mentioned some of them to include: traditional financing models, budgetary provisions, among others.
Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, CIS, has urged the federal government to make use of the Nigerian capital market to fund the infrastructural requirements of the country. Olushekun Ariyo, president, CIS, said allocation from the national budget was no longer enough to provide the needed infrastructure that would boost productivity and the general welfare of the people.
He also urged the newly inducted stockbrokers to ensure they maintained professionalism in the discharge of their services to the investing public. “You should make use of the knowledge and experiences gathered during the period of your study to deliver quality service and shun any malpractice capable of destroying your integrity” he said.
FG’s Forward Planning Policy Commended
THE Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, has enjoined the National Assembly to ensure a speedy passage of the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, of the federal government. Mohammed Abubakar, president, NACCIMA, made this call when he addressed the private sector policy makers and government functionaries at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
He applauded the federal government for demonstrating a high sense of forward planning to bring about an all-inclusive growth by producing the proposed 2014-2016 MTEF, which is before the National Assembly for passage.“We wish to counsel that the National Assembly should, without further delay, fast-track the consideration of the MTEF and approve it,” he said.
He noted that no economy in the world is an island, nor can experience a sustainable level of real growth and development if the necessary economic reforms and incentives that would spur and position the economy in a better stead to attract and encourage both local and foreign investors in the country, were not put in place. “It has therefore become necessary for our government at all levels to ensure the enhancement and development of the private sector with appropriate and effective enabling policy measures.”
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Nov. 18, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT