Delta State Governmentis to establish ten (10) industries this year to promote Medium and Small ScaleEnterprises in the state.
Announcing this duringa Town Hall Meeting with owners of SME’s in Asaba, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan listedthe industries to include four Fish Feed Mills and six Cassava ProcessingPlants.
He said governmentwould establish the industries but they would be managed by private investorsto make them viable and ensure efficient management.
Dr. Uduaghan who alsoannounced that the state government would set up Small Industrial Parks inurban centers in the state with emphasis on the establishment of IndustrialParks for shoe manufacturers in the state.
He disclosed that hisadministration has made adequate arrangement to partner with Germany on YouthDevelopment Program where the youths would acquire technical skills on variousfields of endeavour.
He therefore gaveassurance that infrastructures would be provided at various Industrial Parks toencourage investors to establish Industries.
The Governor said thatthe state has acquired 130 transformers and expressed the hope that whendistributed the current epileptic supply of power would be checked.
Dr. Uduaghan asked thebusiness community to invest and take risk explaining that the state has a lotof potentials which they could explore.
In an opening address,the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Mr. Kingsley Emu explained that theOne Billion Naira Loan to SME’s in the state was provided for by the stategovernment and the Bank of Industry (BOI)
He stated that theMinistry recorded about 80% default after the disbursement of 20% of the Onebillion naira loan noting that the Ministry had stopped further disbursement tomap out strategies on how to improve on the process.
Mr. Emu highlightedthe reasons for the default by Co-operative Societies to include lack ofability to appropriately manage the loan and lack of adequate monitoring andsupervision by the Financial Institutions.
Speaking further, heobserved that strategies have been put in place to ensure that the process ofdisbursement and refunding of the loan was improved upon to benefit moreDeltans.
“One of thestrategies, we have put in place is to encourage banks to assist SMEs withfunds and reduce their interest rate to enable them pay back within thestipulated period of two years.
One of theparticipants enumerated the problems they are facing as Small & MediumScale Entrepreneurs to include epileptic power supply, high interest ratecharged on the loan by Banks and equipping Vocational Centers in the state.
Another participant pleadedwith the governor to ensure that these loans are given to genuine SME’s ratherthan politicians usurping the available spaces for their candidates.