Gov Yahaya Bello to create 500,000 businesses before 2024

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Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has promised to establish over 500,000 new businesses in the state before the expiration of his tenure in 2024.

Bello made the pledge yesterday during the inaugural Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day, which was hosted in Lokoja, the state capital, with the subject “MSME Growth: A Strategic Tool for Economic Development.”

MSMEs Day was established by the UNGA on June 27 in order to highlight the enormous contributions that MSMEs have made to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The governor, who planned to achieve the feat through innovativeness, explained that MSMEs account for 90 per cent of businesses, 60 to 70 per cent of employment and 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worldwide.

He says that the development of MSME is a strategic tool for economic growth and that the theme accurately captures the significance of the industry.

MSMEs, he emphasized, support livelihoods, particularly for the underprivileged, women, young, and other vulnerable groups, as well as the local and national economies.

He remembered that the state did not have a significant MSME eco-system or a dedicated organization like the Kogi State Enterprise Development Agency when he assumed office as the fourth executive governor of Kogi in January 2016. (KEDA).

He emphasized that Kogi required a channel to engage and empower the youth population and that the organization was established to coordinate the short- and long-term needs of MSMEs.

He argued that MSMEs continue to be the key forces behind economic expansion, particularly in a developing nation like Nigeria that lacks an industrialized economy.

“I made it one of my pre-occupation to create any agency, through which we could encourage entrepreneurship and ultimately build a strong MSME (platform) in our state. This is why the fourth of the five key thematic areas of our new direction blueprint is to build an engagement of new venture creation,” he said.

However, the former presidential candidate regretted that for a very long period, the population relied on the government to run the economy, which resulted in an excessively large workforce.

He continued, “This is why our workforce is over-bloated. The government is confronted with the payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities of 80,000 workers in the civil service, both at state and local councils. The sad thing is that we will need to deploy over 80 per cent of gross government income each to pay this number of persons, yet they constitute less than eight per cent of our 4.5 million population.”

However, Kogi has designated July 13 as MSME Day.

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