Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Hope Uzodimma for their efforts in attracting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic to Imo State.
The National MSME Clinic, an initiative of the Office of the Vice President has successfully been commissioned in Owerri by Prof. Osibanjo in collaboration with the Imo State government.
Performing the ceremony at the Ahiajoku Convention Centre in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, Prof. Osibanjo said that the clinic entails government providing various equipment, machines, types of trade facilities among others that are usually expensive to procure by those involved in small businesses because of high cost of such machines.
“What Government does is to invest in buying the equipment, provide spaces and facilities in that location of the clusters for the trade or businesses and or where there are many people who are engaged in a particular type of business the Government will help them to access the use of such facilities.”
He said the facility commissioned today December 24, 2021 in Imo State is critical because “the location of the facility by the side of Amakohia market is important because it is within the metropolis and also along the famous Orlu/Owerri road which is the commercial nerve centre of Owerri.”
Prof. Osibanjo told his audience that “the facilities are well equipped and are expected to be used by those who are involved in the production of various garment wears and it is meant to enable them to produce end-to-end.”
The commissioned garment facility comprised about 200 world class fully automated equipment that can provide services for about 350 small businesses daily.
“To Owerri metropolis and its environs, the facility will be used to carry out several tailoring activities including straight sewing, weaving, embroidery, monograph and monogram which particularly is very important in the designing of T-shirts and caps for several thousands in one day.”
The Vice President thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for making the MSME a priority in his administration, by “realising that they are the engine room to economic growth, national income and job creation for the country.”
In the same vein, he commended the Governor Uzodimma for his commitment in attracting the facility to Imo State, emphasizing that the facility is in collaboration between the Federal and State Government. “So the State is expected to work jointly with the Federal Government in other to benefit the people of the State.”
He called on the people to support the State Government and Federal Government to achieve their laudable objectives and avoid saboteur.
“Nigeria is our land, we have no other land to call our own. We must never allow this land to become unruly and ungovernable, we must do our best to ensure peace, and this is the only way to eat the bountiful gift of this land.”
In his address, Governor Uzodimma described the MSME facility as a salutary signpost of the Shared Prosperity Agenda of his administration and thanked President Mohammadu Buhari and his team for the creative enterprise expressed in the MSME scheme.
He described the project as a “testament of the Federal Government commitment to the development of Imo State.”
“The cardinal objective of the facility is the empowerment of our young men and women and total eradication of poverty in Imo State,” he said and thanked again the President and the Vice President for the attention that they have always given to Imo State which he described as “the industrial hub of the South East.”
He reiterated the several efforts his administration has made towards the revival and recovery of moribund industries which include Adapalm expected to offer employment to 120,000 youths and recovery of Standard Shoe Company targeted at employing 10,000 youths when fully functional.
The Governor pleaded with the Vice President to replicate what he has done with the MSME on the Shoe Industry so that “the industry which is begging for help will be assisted with the necessary equipment for an immediate take off.”
The Governor agreed with Prof Osinbajo that the MSME facility is a “significant effort to reduce unemployment and poverty in our land, engage our youths in productive ventures and make crime unattractive to them.”
On facilities available at the clinic, the Governor noted that there is 24-hour electricity supply to ensure uninterrupted power and efficient productivity.
He charged the beneficiary to move in with their skills as “their destiny is in their hands,” insisting that “restiveness is a result of lack of job and unemployment.”
Governor Uzodimma passionately appealed to the Vice President to use his good offices to establish one of the Industrial Training Fund Vocational Centres in Imo State to “help alleviate the problems of those who cannot gain admission into the University.”
He used the opportunity to invite investors to come to Imo State and invest as his government has developed special programmes to facilitate and encourage external investments in the State. They include infancy status that allows for tax holidays and other logistics as well as provision of power by using gas through pipeline to the industrial hub.
He aslo assured that insecurity has been brought to relative management and that his administration will guarantee provision of security to the investors.
To the Igbo youths, Governor Uzodimma enjoined them not to hesitate to buy into all the available skills of the Federal and State Governments that can better their lives. “They should not allow themselves to be used by the opposition for nefarious activities, they should shun drug abuse, criminality, violence but in all make the fear of God their guide.”
Earlier in her welcome address the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment Amb. Mariam Katagum thanked Mr. President, the Vice President and the Governor of Imo State for providing the incentives and conducive environment that enabled the successful commissioning of the facilities in Imo State.
She explained that the project is to reposition the Commerce, Trade and Investment sector for efficiency and growth.
“The programme is distinct from the norm as it aims at institutionalizing a culture of response and supportive services that improve ease of doing business by entrepreneurs.”
She reinforced the fact that the decision to develop the Owerri fashion and design shared facility is “because of its cosmopolitan nature and geographical proximity bothered by two key commercial centres of Orlu and Owerri.”
She emphasized that the programme is developed to help boost local productivity of vulnerable MSMEs by lowering production cost.
The event was well attended by top government officials including the chaiemen of the 27 LGAs of Imo State, party faithful, the youths, women, traditional rulers among others.