Gov Samuel Ortom of Benue has advised people of the state to take advantage of government’s interventions in agriculture and small scale enterprises to enhance their wellbeing.
Ortom gave the charge on Thursday in Makurdi at the 9th Benue National Trade Fair with the theme ”Revitalising the Benue Economy through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).”
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Benson Abounu, said his administration was aware of the sufferings of the people.
He said this was the reason for the provision of the intervention funds to enable them have easier access to loans.
Ortom said that the state government had deposited N1 billion with the Bank of Industry to be disbursed to the people as loans.
He advised persons with good business ideas and plans to approach the Bank of Industry for loans, adding that they did not need collaterals to access loans.
Mr Bassey Edem, National President, National Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), commended Ortom for giving a piece of land for the construction of an ultra-modern trade fair complex and offices.
“This is a good development worthy of emulation by other states,” he said.
He, however, appealed to the governor to initiate policies that would support the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises in the state.
Edem said that granting loans to agriculture alone was capable of contributing larger percentage to the state’s economy.
This, he said, could create more employment opportunities and generate higher production as well as increase exports and introduce entrepreneurship in the state.
Earlier, Mr Asema Achado, National President, Benue Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BECCIMA), said that it was the desire of BECCIMA that Benue people developed the spirit of entrepreneurship.
This, he said, was essential in view of the dwindling fortunes of the state occasioned by the fall in the price of oil.
Achado said that the way forward for the people of the state was to continue to produce.
He said that while the state governor might score high on infrastructural development, there was need for him to do more in other sectors of the state’s economy.