Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has said that his administration was doing everything necessary to ensure that the state retains its lead as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) hub of Nigeria.
Otti stated this while addressing a delegation of Bank of Industries (BoI), who was on a business visit to him.
He said his overall target was to make Abia a leading state with the ease of doing business across the country and added that his vision was to gainfully engage the people and reduce hardship, hunger and insecurity to the barest minimum.
The Abia State Chief Executive, who also described the proposition of the Bank of Industry as being in line with his vision for the state, noted that governance was all about the people, especially easing the burden off their shoulders.
“We strongly believe that governance is about the people and anything you do that does not affect the people in a positive way is not acceptable,” he said.
Otti, while describing Abians as industrious people, said that he was committed to creating a business-friendly atmosphere to enable Abia people and residents excel and compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe.
“So for us we have come here to ease the burden of our people particularly the very industrious set of hard working people. We have come to provide an enabling environment for them to do their business,” he said.
He enjoined the Bank of Industry to do more to encourage the growth of SMEs in the state while promising to help in fixing their business office in Aba to serve the people better.
He also noted that in a bid to promote ease of doing business, his administration had made it a policy that one must get Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in the state within 30 days of application.
Usen Effiong, executive director, Corporate Services, Bank of Industry, earlier in his speech, said that the bank since inception has the mandate of providing funds for the establishment and growth of SMEs and other businesses.
He also said that the bank was interested in collaborating with government to stimulate and grow the economy of the people by supporting the youths and all kinds of artisans who have huge clusters of businesses in Aba.
He disclosed that they have two types of funding, including Manage Fund and Matching Fund which the state could leverage to boost the SMEs in the state.