Cross River Empowers 3,000 Youths Through Small And Medium Enterprises

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by crossriverwatch admin

Cross River State Governor Sen Liyel Imoke (3rd right) flanked by his deputy Mr Efiok Cobham, SA investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Adah and a cross section of beneficiaries of the federal government assisted N1 billion facility for MSMEs during Youth in Enterprise showcase 2014 in Calabar
Cross River State Governor Sen Liyel Imoke (3rd right) flanked by his deputy Mr Efiok Cobham, SA investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Adah and a cross section of beneficiaries of the federal government assisted N1 billion facility for MSMEs during Youth in Enterprise showcase 2014 in Calabar

As part of effort at creating jobs for its teeming youths, Cross River State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government has injected over N1 billion through Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agenda (MEDA), into Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) businesses across the different sectors in the state.

Since the inception of the current administration in 2007, over 3,297 youths have so far directly benefited from the fund, just as another 10,276 have undergone various forms of entrepreneurial development and capacity building training/ mentorship programs.

Speaking at the Cross River State Youth in Enterprise Showcase 2014 in Calabar, weekend, the state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, said: “When we started as an administration, it was very imperative for us to create opportunities for young people, where they can take advantage of and make their lives meaningful.”

He averred that “as a state, setting up MEDA by law was necessitated by the fact that we needed to support the growth and development of entrepreneurs in Cross River State, especially the young ones. For us, it is imperative that we provide the enabling environment that would facilitate those who are committed and hardworking as well as those who understand that there is no way to success than the hard way. There are those who understand and appreciate the value of the opportunities we have created and will continue to create.”

According to him, “Working with our partners, the banks and several others, we think that we set out on the right course and the important thing to me was not just the presentation made by the young entrepreneurs at this event but the number of persons they have employed, which may double our current workforce as a state and this is very significant.”

While urging the youth to shun the mentality of waiting for their “entitlement” from government, Imoke said though they may face the challenge of financing their chosen businesses, he assured that government was doing everything possible to support those who truly need the support with a three percent interest rate facility and urged them to put the money into judicious use as well as be sincere in repayment to enable others access the fund.

“These efforts are to ensure that we must get it right and our collective vision as a people remains focused, if we get it right with these kids and sustain it for another ten years, billionaires would emerge from among them and if that is achieved, we would be creating a phenomenal growth in the economy as well as change,” he added.

Special Adviser to the governor on Investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Ada, disclosed that “the effort of this administration has been to create jobs through the office of
Investment Promotion and MEDA. We have seen over 6,000 jobs created through the private sector by companies like Wilmer, Dansa farms, Unicem, Portside Industrial park, Skyrun, etc. Another 2,500 have been placed by the Job Placement department in Public institutions.

He further disclosed: “We have created potentially, another over 30,000 jobs spread over the next 5 years from the over $3billion worth of investments from various companies into our state economy. Our Economy is growing in the right direction as jobs are being created in a sustainable manner by attracting the right kind of Investors.”

Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management, Bank of Agriculture, Mr. Babatunde Sadiku, said the choice of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-Entrepreneurial Development Center for South-South was not misplaced, adding that it was as a result of the zeal and commitment demonstrated by the state government in developing the young minds to grow the economy.

He reiterated the Federal Government’s readiness to support the youths who are willing to develop their entrepreneurial potentials in a sustainable manner that will make them self-reliant and employers of labor.

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