The governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has assured that his administration would continue to lend more support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the state.
Speaking at the state Executive Council meeting in Awka on Monday while receiving the plaque awarded to Anambra State for emerging as the best state that supports MSME by the Presidency at the weekend, governor Obiano said that the award would spur him to do more in the support of MSMEs in the state.
According to him, his administration had perfected arrangements to access the N3.5bn MSME facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that would be ploughed into the funding of MSMEs in the state.
Governor Obiano explained that Anambra had over 2000 cooperatives covering agriculture, manufacturing, trade and commerce and services, declaring “it is my intention to support them more. We are getting about N3.5bn from the Central Bank, probably in the next few weeks that we are also going to use to support the people in this area; particularly for the growth of Efi Igbo, Ewu Igbo, Okuko and other farmers that are pioneering things in this area. It will go a long way in assisting the attainment of food sufficiency that we talked about.”
Anambra had edged out Lagos, Abia and Kaduna states to emerge as the Best State in Support of MSMEs in Nigeria.
Anambra’s impressive achievements in MSME came from Obiano’s foresight in establishing an agency known as the Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) which has been directly involved in the financing of the entrepreneurial dreams of so many businessmen and women in the state.
Since its inception in 2015, ASBA has provided over N2.5 Billion in single digit funds to Microenterprises and SMEs in the State, funding over 10,000 businesses and creating over 70,000 direct and indirect jobs in the process, empowering youths to become burgeoning entrepreneurs as well as sustaining established SMEs in the State.
Available facts indicate that in the period under review, Anambra State Government had disbursed the sum of N1.2bn to MSMEs in the state through ASBA.
Industrialization and manufacturing took the lion’s share of the disbursements with 49.69% while Agricultural value chain came second with 20.89%. Trade and Commerce took 11.42% while Oil and gas came next with 7.75%.
The records further show that the Agency also innovatively financed the US$2.2 Million (about N800 Million) Shoe & Leather Products Industrial Cluster in Nkwelle Ezunaka via its “Enabling Local Cluster Development Scheme”.
These shoe makers had through this intervention, collectively reaped huge financial benefits, creating trading linkages with buyers across sub-Saharan Africa and significantly limiting the influence of middle men. The shoe makers also generated impressive revenues as at year end 2018 for the state.
Riding on the back of the success of the shoe making cluster, ASBA has commenced the construction of a similar industrial cluster for Textile and Garments artisans which should be completed by December 2019.