‘SMEDAN Will Continue To Support SMEs’

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From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has assured of the cooperation of the agency to Micro and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMSE) to enable them succeed.
Director-General of the agency, Bature Umar Masari (now removed by the Federal Government) gave the assurance during the inauguration of the Akwa Ibom State Council of the MSMSE in the state.
He said the council did not have any political undertones, assuring that SMEDAN which is the co-ordinating body of MSMSE will remain a trusted and dependable ally and continue to support MSMSE’s activities in the state.
He spelt out the functions of the council to include holding of regular meetings with minutes sent to the national council, coordinating the implementation of the national council on MSMSE in the state, setting specific target of the annual growth rate in the state and writing minutes and measuring attainment of these targets.
Others are providing input for the annual MSMSE’s report for the state and reporting on the annual MSMSE budget for the state and reporting on annual MSMSE’s training to the national council on MSMSE for review,among others.
Members of the inaugurated council include the State Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry , Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem as chairman. Others are Mr. Sunday Ekpo, Mr. Okoidegun Emmanuel, Lucy Johnson Ekpenyong, Jaknche Ukoka, Pastor Andrew Uwanta, Lady Veronica Lazarus Usoro and Dr, Ukpong Umoh.
The rest are, Mr Abel Okon, Mr. Acholoh Onehemi, Chief David Udo, Chief Sylvester Akaiso, Richard Imonie , Mr. Idoroenyin Ekpo, Mr. Nwabuee and Dr.Idorenyin Esiikot..
Addressing the audience, chairman of the Council and Commissioner for Investment Commerce and Industry, Barr. Emmanual Enoidem, said the inauguration will synergise the efforts of all stakeholders in the drive to develop a viable MSMSE sector that will power the economy of Akwa Ibom State.
Enoidem announced that plans were underway by the government to develop and build the capacities of local investors using the MSMSE’s sector as a platform.
His words: “The Akwa Ibom council of MSMSE therefore will provide a common platform for generating and sharing ideas ad evolving better policy strategies to develop the MSMSE sector. The council will also serve as melting pot for mixing and fine-tuning divergent views and methods, thereby synergising the efforts of stakeholders in the MSMSE’s sector to achieve better policy objectives.”
According to him, this will negate the current fragmented approach by different agencies and organizations who are dissipating energies in different directions all in the name of developing MSMSE s
He stressed the need for a paradigm shift from the usual way of doing things in one’s own way of doing things to doing the right things.
While congratulating other members of the council on their inauguration, the chairman admitted that the task before them was enormous and pledged their determination to deliver on their mandate.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Investment, commerce and Industry, Deaconess Affiong Okpo, said the inauguration of the council was important since it turned a turning point in government’s effort to develop MSMSE sector in the state.
For government to achieve its goals of job creation and poverty reduction in the state, through industrialization, the permanent secretary said there was need to develop the MSMSE alongside large industries while welcoming direct investment in the state.
She urged MSMSE in the state to take advantage of the numerous opportunities provided by the government to build their technical administrative capacity so as to be able to compete favourably with their counterparts within and outside Nigeria.

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