The new Governor of Abia, Dr Alex Otti, on Monday, said his administration will within the next month, launch a N10 billion Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises financing scheme in the state.
He made this known during his inaugural speech as the fifth executive Governor of Abia, at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
Otti said that the fund is aimed at tackling the challenge of youth unemployment, which “keeps me awake most nights because I know how industrious our youths are.”
The renowned economist said that the scheme would comprise conditional business grants and low-interest loans to support relevant enterprises.
He said that the detailed modalities for accessing these funds would be made public soon.
“It is my projection that a minimum of 20,000 MSMEs shall benefit from this fund over the next two years and shall in turn generate at least 100,000 direct jobs and another 200,000 indirect employments in the state,” he said.
The renowned economist said that his administration would partner with commercial banks, local and international development agencies, venture capitalists and independent investors.
According to him, we shall target MSMEs in high-impact areas such as ICT, agriculture, small-scale manufacturing, fashion, leatherworks, and other areas where the state has a strong comparative advantage.
He said that his administration would also leverage some of the major reforms in the power sector to provide structural support in the form of steady electricity access for those entrepreneurs.
“Our administration shall also make sure that the major obstacles to business success such as poor road networks, over-taxation and restricted access to local and global markets are timeously dealt with,” he said.
The former bank chief promised that he would in the next one week, announce the setting up of the most suitable administrative and investment vehicles to drive the social and economic rejuvenation of Aba.
He said that he had mandated the leadership of one of the most notable construction companies in the country to carry out a preliminary assessment of some critical portions of Aba roads.
“Beyond working to retain the city’s status as a leading trade destination in Nigeria and across West Africa; we shall also do whatever is necessary to see that Aba’s manufacturing base is restored,” Otti said. (NAN)