• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Otu boosts MSMEs, inaugurates SMEDA for economic growth

Cross River secures $3.5bn to construct Bakassi seaport

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has moved to boost Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) with the inauguration of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA) meant to coordinate cottage industries and commerce in the State.

The governor, who challenged members of the newly inaugurated SMEDA to contribute their quota to the present Administration’s prosperity programme by innovatively driving Cross River atop the enterprise development radar among the comity of Nigerian states, declared that the Government would do everything humanly possible to improve the overall economy of the State.

While speaking at the inauguration of SMEDA in Calabar, Cross River State Capital, the governor gave said, “if you look at all Federal Government’s platforms where Cross River is, we have crept from wherever they left us to where it is but shocking to them. And you know that in about a year’s time or more, they would see us atop in almost all fields. That is where we intend to be.

“So I want that spirit to be rekindled once more and make sure that we do our best for our people,” the governor tasked the newly inaugurated team.”

Reminding Cross Riverians of his Administration’s wave of well planned, foresighted and people-centric programmes, sweeping across the State, Governor Otu added, “Innovations run the world. I want you to do your very best to make sure that the impact of your agency is felt by the people,” while expressing optimism in team’s vision and objectives.

“We are going into total mechanization in agriculture. We want to do all the hard work, where it is most difficult.

“Because whether you like it or not, these people (small holder farmers) sustained us through the period we could not mass produce. And going forward, we must not leave them out.”

The governor however demanded multi-stakeholder engagements as the State, through mechanized agriculture, strives to expand commercial and agro-based productivity, as we’ll as making agriculture the fulcrum of the State’s economy.

“We are very intentional. We understand what is going on at the national platform. We just need a little bit of tinkering for it to fit with our system. We understand the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda very well. Ours is the ‘People First’ mandate, so we are going to inject as many people as possible into the structures that are going to be set up. This particular activity needs proper synergy to know what is going on in agriculture, with the youths, women, as well as other areas of importance.

“With this team, I know that we are ready. I want us to put as much energy as possible. I appreciate the work that is going on already. I want you to co-opt as many people as possible to make sure that it is quite robust and dynamic to bring the required positive impact on Cross Riverians”, he concluded.

BusinessDay reports that the SMEDA Committee is headed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Medium Enterprises Development, Great Ogban; with membership drawn from the likes of elder statesman, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo; James Anicha, Commissioner for Wealth Creation; Kingsley Egumi, Commissioner for Commerce; Abigail Duke, among others.