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FG Optimistic On Securing $500 Million AFDB Fund For Tehnology Innovation- Minister

Trade and Industry Minister, Richard Adebayo has said the federal government is optimistic of securing a $500 million AFDB fund for technology innovation in the country.

Adebayo who disclosed this at the 11th meeting of the National Council on Industry in Uyo said the FG would also work towards the realization of one agro-processing zone in each senatorial district to encourage farmers in the country.

The minister also said the FG is committed to ensuring credit access to 10 million MSMEs at single digits rate in order to fully activate the private sector in six special zones in Lekki, Enyimba, Funtua, Ibom, Kano and Benue.

He explained that the policies were meant to boost FG strategy towards the realization of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years.

Adebayo said that the ministry already initiated and implemented the One Local Government One product Programme expected to generate over 4,900 new jobs and have established three facilities to help revamp SMEs in Sokoto, Aba and Minna.

“The National Enterprises Development Programme being implemented is generating 1,000,000 jobs annually. The programme is a strategic way of delivering enterprise development in the country directly addressing the critical factors that have inhibited the growth of the MSME sector.

“It is of interest to intimate the council that tremendous progress has been recorded in the areas of improved registration of enterprises, increased access of MSMEs to grants, improved capacity of MSMEs and job creation opportunities amongst others.

“There are over 100,000 MSMEs registered under the Business Innovative and Growth, (BIG) platform, which is the only channel through which MSMEs can access the project intervention programme.

“It is my sincere belief that this 11th National Council meeting, judging by the calibre of members present and coupled with your proven experience and expertise will help in articulating pragmatic resolutions for repositioning the Small and Medium Scale Businesses for alleviating poverty and the eventual uplifting Nigeria to the next level of economic development.” He concluded.

In a remark, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom stated that ongoing construction of a coconut plantation and refinery and the Ibom Deep Sea Port projects we’re programmes aimed at providing massive direct and indirect employment opportunities for skilled manpower from all over the world.

The state government, Emmanuel said has continued to boost power supply, essential for industrial sustenance by feeding 153MW of electricity to the national grid and building four distribution sub stations across the state.

Earlier while well-coming participants, state commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Ukpong Akpabio said the state government remained committed to raising at least 30,000 viable SMEs before 2023.

In addition, Akpabio said, the State Executive Council recently approved IBOM 3,000 project as an operational scheme to identify and train 3,000 SME beneficiaries drawn from across the state on at least one industry skill in the first phase of the programme which would commence in January 2020.

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