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What Governor Emmanuel Completion Agenda means for SMES

“It is my dream to leave office in 2023 with over 50,000 Small and Medium Scale Industries that will in turn drive the industrialization and economy of our great State” -Governor Udom Emmanuel,

The Completion Agenda
For the past few years, Governor Udom Emmanuel has attracted a lot of Foreign direct investment to the State. This has won him a lot of accolades and has also improved the economic profile of the State. As the organizers of the Independent Award 2018 noted while decorating him with the governor of the year 2018 in terms of Foreign direct investment and industrialization, Governor Emmanuel has less than 4 years attracted and facilitated big factories and industries to Akwa Ibom, including the syringe factory, Electric digital metering solutions manufacturing factory, plastic manufacturing factory, Coconut refinery and several others.

More importantly, Governor Emmanuel understands that SMEs are the engine room of any economy and any agenda without a suitable strategy for economic advancement will do Akwa Ibom people no good. Hence, he has structured a plan in his second-term manifesto, “Completion Agenda” that will not only inspire the birth of SMEs but will attempt to solve the problem of unemployment and create jobs for our teeming youths. Here are some of the major policies and plans that will inspire the development and growth of SMEs in Akwa Ibom State between 2019- 2023 as outlined in the Completion Agenda;

Ensuring full implementation of Akwa Ibom Micro Enterprise Development Agency Bill (AKMEDE law):
AKMEDE Bill was signed into law in December, 2017 with the view of enabling the State government to raise lending capital for SMEs in the State from various intervention funds from Central Bank of Nigeria, multinational agencies and International finance institutions, boost agro-based financing, provide micro finance facilities on short and long-term basis for SMEs and build the capacity of SMEs to operate successful business. A full implementation of this law will solve the problem of capital for small and medium scale business, encourage the development of sustainable business idea and create a chain reaction that will inspire the expansion of SMEs across the state.

Establishing a MSME one-stop-shop for incubation and training of entrepreneurs/potential entrepreneurs in basic business skills and MSMEs potential across the state:
The completion agenda of Governor Emmanuel has outlined the prospects of SMEs in all the 31 Local government areas in the State with regards to available resources. An MSME one stop shop as proposed by the governor will provide a cluster style facility that will serve as an incubation centre to prepare entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs with basic business skills, connect them to micro financing facilities and help promote and project their business to the World.

Assisting prospective Entrepreneurs to prepare documentation required for financing, feasibility study and business plan:
As outlined in the completion agenda, the SMEs’ plans of Governor Emmanuel will not just stop at training and connecting entrepreneurs to opportunities but will also include assisting them in preparing documentation that will help them access micro financing facilities, build capacity in feasibility studies and assist in creating a sustainable business plan that will help start their business, maintain it and grow it.

Others Include:
Providing suitable and secured environment with good road network for SMEs;
Creating Industrial hub for SMEs;
Providing linkages with SMEs international equipment manufacturing company;
Working with available financial Industries like CBN and International intervention funds for SMEs to ensure that business owners in Akwa Ibom have access funding for SMEs.

The SMEs’ plans of the completion agenda will spur economic growth, support entrepreneurship, provide seed capital and technical assistance to small and medium size business owners and build the capacity of entrepreneurs/prospective entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into valuable business.

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