Edo government holds business clinic for SMEs to drive economic diversification

As part of reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to grow the local production capacity, the Edo State Government has held a business clinic to train Small and Medium Entreprises (SMEs) on strategies, to take advantage of the increase in Nigeria’s non-oil receipts to scale up their operations.

Head, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Kelvin Uwaibi, at the business clinic organised at the ongoing Edo Trade Fair, in Benin City, said the state government will continue to provide the right environment for local investors to thrive and facilitate exports for SMEs in the state.

He tasked SMEs in the state to take advantage of the government’s policies to expand their operations and add value to their businesses.

The business clinic was facilitated by the Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment; Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE); National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO); EdoJobs; Edo Exporters Cluster; BENCCIMA; NASSI Industrial Self Reliance, among others.

Uwaibi applauded manufacturers for their role in contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy, noting that recent developments in the international market showed that non-oil receipts grew more than revenues from oil.

He described the development as a plus to the Nigerian economy, adding that for decades Nigeria did not record such success because of over-reliance on revenues from crude oil.

He said, “At the Federal Executive Council meeting last month, non-oil receipts was reported to be higher than crude oil receipts. This shows the need to do things differently. Edo has an oil palm initiative right now. Further, an oil palm company in Edo was recently RSPO certified. What that means is that we can now sell our palm oil in the international market. So, Edo State has the capability to export products.”

Uwaibi noted, “Making Edo State a preferred destination for businesses is a priority for the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.”

Earlier, while declaring the Business Clinic open, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Edionwe Joel, noted that the decision to hold the clinic was to educate them on how they can leverage opportunities in the export market for products made in the state.

He said, “I am aware that the decision to hold this event in this place was borne out of the need to speak to the actual participants who invariably constitute the business community. It is a thing of joy to be part of it because ultimately Edo will be better for it.”

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