The Edo State Government has disclosed plans to partner with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) of the German Government to strengthen Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and grow businesses in the state.
This was disclosed at a meeting between GIZ officials and Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) in Benin City.
Head, ESIPO, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, said the coming of GIZ to partner with the state government is to booster the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s efforts at industrialisation, noting that the agency has the mandate to make Edo State a preferred destination for investors.
Uwaibi, who said the Edo State Government under Godwin Obaseki has continued to create opportunities for businesses to thrive, reiterated the governor’s determination to institutionalise reforms as a way of achieving sustainable development.
He said, “For us, sustainability is key and we are quite lucky to have Governor Godwin Obaseki whose interest in achieving results is uncommon. We want to be able to show results. Currently, the investment bill is with the State’s Executive Council. The government sees institutionalisation as an important component in ensuring sustainability.
“The success story we want to see for example is that the MSMEs we assist 5-years ago become big businesses today. Part of our promises to Edo people was to create 200,000 jobs; not just government jobs. If MSMEs are empowered, they can create more jobs.”
In her response, the GIZ Advisor for Employment Promotion and Migration, Mirian Douiri, who led the team of business experts to the state, said the purpose of the meeting was to identify areas of partnership in strengthening private sector participation in its economy with a focus on business expansion and enabling business development.
Douiri noted that an established relationship with the state government will enable GIZ to understand what can be done to boost local economic growth in the state.
Some of the areas emphasized during the discussion include technical cooperation, financial inclusion, support to micro-finance banks for effective lending to MSMEs, capacity building for MSMEs and a robust business directory.
According to Douiri, “We are here to establish an understanding relationship with the government, support business development, technical cooperation and financial inclusion”
Also, in the team of GIZ officials who attended the meeting were the Financial Inclusion and Migration Advisor, Akinwande Pearse and the Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, Nosa Obayuwana. Others are Amoo Abiodun, Philip Mathew, and Olarewanju Oniyitan from Holistic Business Solutions, Lagos.