The Governor of Bayelsa State Seriake Dickson on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to raise N10 billion entrepreneurship development fund to create wealth for small and medium scale entrepreneurs in the state.
The Governor made the disclosure during the signing of the MOU between the state government and the management of the BoI in Government House, Yenagoa, stressed that small and medium scale enterprises will drive and form the nucleus of the proposed industrial take off of the state.
According to him, the state government for the first time created the Izon Ibe Micro-finance Bank to address the challenges of funding for those who are in dire need of funds as well as the creation of entrepreneurship development school to train and prepare people to manage enterprises of their own.
He said, “This government is taking a comprehensive review of the workforce in the state to launch the employee to employer programme and that is why we are very happy with the memorandum of understanding we have just signed today.
“This MOU is our effort to create the N10 billion entrepreneurship development fund our government promised in our budget speech. This N10billion will be used to give loans and grant facilities to start businesses”.
While appreciating the support of the Bank of Industry to the state, Dickson called on federal agencies to lend their support to the state, as it needs every support to develop, adding that, it will create wealth, promote peace and prosperity in our country.
In his remarks, the Ag. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju assured Dickson of the bank’s preparedness to work with the enterprises development agency, in identifying potentially viable micro, small and medium scale enterprises in the state.
The Ag. MD/CEO noted that the bank was glad that the state government was developing the capacity of Bayelsans, stressing that the ongoing efforts of the government informed the decision of the bank to partner with state administration in ensuring the building of business models for the local entrepreneurs.
He noted with delight that during the Bayelsa investment forum in 2014, there was a huge exhibition of aquatic and agricultural produce, which value could be added, stressing that the local areas that have comparative advantage will translate to competitive advantage.