Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, says his administration has positively impacted over 1000 start-up businesses between 2015 and now.
The governor was speaking while addressing a group of SME owners in Abia at the Dr Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia.
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He promised that his government will continue to encourage and support more businesses as Abia is the SME capital of Nigeria.
He stated that his choice of SMEs as one of the cardinal pillars of his government is because Abians are gifted in SMEs, adding that it is for that reason that his government decided to mainstream SMEs as well as dedicate a full-fledged ministry for the development of SMEs in the state.
Governor Ikpeazu stated that idea, funding and patronage are essential in SME development, and encouraged all who may want to venture into SMEs to think of the power embedded in them, be willing to learn and act and also exhibit honesty.
The governor recalled that between 2015 and today, Abia State has consistently won national awards in the SME sub-sector and appreciated an awardee from Abia, Mr Tochukwu Clinton Chukwueke, who emerged the Access Bank Overall MSME of the year awardee with N1 million.
He tasked him to use the money to further strengthen his business.
The governor also presented winners who were selected for their business proposals with start-up funds ranging from N250,000 to N750,000 each.
The commissioner, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Lady Adaku Oseiza, pointed out that Abia is not lagging behind in SME development as Abia SMEs have scored many firsts, including setting up the Enyimba Automated Shoe Company, establishing an SME Bank tailored towards helping small businesses to thrive among others.