The Cross River state government has reiterated the fact that one of the objectives of the present administration is to encourage wealth creation, and provide an enabling environment for Public-Private Partnership to thrive in the state.
Governor Imoke was speaking at the cheque presentation ceremony worth N400 Million to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme (MSME’s) through its development agency, Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA) in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture in Calabar, the state capital.
Represented by his deputy, Efiok Cobham, the governor disclosed that, in spite of the pivotal role the sector plays in the economic development, the sector is still battling the challenge of insufficient capital, lack of proper business information, difficulty in accessing credit facility, high cost of finance and lack of skills in preparing business plans among its members.
He further said the government is set out to make MSME’s more productive and rewarding by encouraging the adoption of best practice, developing a strong private sector driven economy, growing the purchasing power of our people and strengthening the real sector of the state economy.
Director General of MEDA, Mr. Ignatius Atsu, disclosed that 500 micro enterprises and cooperative groups who met the criteria through a transparent process were selected to benefit from the scheme which attracts 8 percent interest for agro-based business and 9 percent non-agro business.
Beneficiaries thanked the state government for the gesture saying that the expansion of their business will in no little way better their lots and promised to ensure that the loans are paid promptly.The importance of MSME’s in the economic development of any nation cannot be over emphasized, as it provides the largest means of livelihood for self-employment in the state and country at large.