From Abel Leonard, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), has organised the inaugural business environment townhall meeting, aimed at bringing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMEs) closer to reforms.
The business environment townhall meeting, which is the first to be organised since the creation of the state, held at the Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall, on Tuesday.
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The meeting was organised to bring MSMEs in the state closer to the reforms being introduced by the present administration under the leadership of Engr. Abdullahi Sule.
In his opening remarks, Governor Abdullahi Sule said, having recognised the importance of small businesses in the growth of the economy of the country, his administration on assumption of office, initiated several policies and laws geared towards creating a favourable business environment in the state.
According to the governor, the essence of government is to help towards facilitating the development its own people and society, stressing that the only way to actually develop any community or society is to ensure that people are economically independent of government.
In this regards, he disclosed that his administration has come up with several laws, aimed at providing the ease of doing business.
Aside of that, the Governor explained that, on coming into power, his administration unfolded the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), as well as set up the economic advisory committee chaired by Professor Konye Ajayi, a respected lawyer in the country who is also in the area of economic development.
“We have the one-stop shop where small businesses will come in and then go to NASIDA, for an idea of setting up the investment agency. The whole idea is to assist people like you, so that you will be able to set up your businesses,” he said.
Being the co-chair of the federal government steering committee on poverty reduction, Engineer Sule said he saw the need to take advantage of the scheme that will see 100m Nigerians move out of poverty in the next 10 years.
He expressed satisfaction that over 300 small business owners, including youths, are participating in the townhall meeting, which provided an opportunity for government to hear from them.
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The Governor noted that, the parley was an avenue to government to Interact with MSMEs, with a view to understanding their challenges, as well as the various risks involved.
He therefore urged participants at the meeting to freely engage with the government officials in order to understand each other.
In a goodwill message, Ayo Kumide, representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment, said Nigeria’s goal of achieving 7 percent GDP annual growth and lifting 100 Nigerians out of poverty is anchored on favourable business environment.
“That is why interactions such as this is pretty very much important. We are glad that Nasarawa is at the forefront of this intervention and we are pleased His Excellency has priotized the creation of favourable business environment,” he stated.
While congratulating the state and the Managing Director of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency, Ibrahim Abdullahi, for organising the first business environment townhall meeting, Kumide expressed confidence that by next year, Nasarawa State will be among the shining lights in the ease of doing business.
Earlier in a welcome address, Ibrahim Abdullahi, MD/CEO NASIDA, said the parley will allow government, through the various MDAs, share with MSMEs various reforms that are being implemented in the state.
These reforms, according to the NASIDA MD, are to make businesses comfortable, as well as to improve the business environment.
“This is the first of its kind and we are delighted that His Excellency, the governor, continues to put the business community, continue to put small businesses like you, at the forefront of government agenda,” the MD said.
He was optimistic that, the townhall meeting provided an avenue for the revitalisation of the economy, especially that MSMEs are the engine room of any economy.
“In Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has recognised this and is working, through all our various institutions, to ensure that we truly set out all the legal regulatory framework to ensure that our business environment in Nasarawa State is top notch,” he stated.