Entrepreneurship Training in Akwa Ibom. The Akwa Ibom Government has pledged more support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This is part of its efforts to boost entrepreneurship and the industrial development of the state.
At an entrepreneurship training for SMEs that was organised by the technical committee on Foreign Direct Investment, an agency of the Akwa Ibom state government in partnership with Polaris Bank held in Uyo, the state capital, Gabriel Ukpeh, chairman of the committee reiterated the determination of the state government to grow the sector saying many projects are already being financed by the state government to support SMEs.
At the entrepreneurship training, Ukpeh disclosed that the state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industries (BoI) as a first step in the move to provide small business operators with credit facilities in the state.
According to Ukpeh at the enterpreneurship training , “with the presence of BoI in the state, SMEs and others entrepreneurs would be better equipped to leverage on the various credit facilities offered by the banks and financial institutions.”
He urged operators of small businesses in the state to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the training to develop their business plans to enable them benefit from credit facilities and lauded Polaris bank for the partnership with the state government in the development of SMEs in the state.
Many of the participants at the training solicited for credit facilities to enable them grow their businesses. However, others complained about lack of patronage of their products by consumers. They claimed consumers often prefer products that carry foreign labels.
Earlier, Jackie Obot, director, corporate affairs commission pledged to assist in the promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. She promised to make the process of registration easier and affordable for business starters.
According to her, registration for a business product and a business name has received a new boost. This is due to the reduction in the registration fee for young entrepreneurs.
Helen Agula, the representative of the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) was also present. She urged those in the agro business to put “structures into their businesses that’ll ensure the viability of their businesses. She also added that her organisation would serve as a tool for supporting lending. Furthermore, it would provide credit risks guarantee to ease ways of doing business in the state.
Speaking earlier was Celestine Etouwem, a representative of the Uyo Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Agriculture. He highlighted the benefits of business operators belonging to trade groups. Also, he said it would facilitate their exposure to international best practices through participation in trade delegations and in attending trade fairs outside the country.