Sokoto Government and the Bank of Industries (BoI) will disburse the sum of N2b to support small scale businesses in the state.
Already, the state government said it has released its counterpart fund of N1 billion to BoI for the scheme.
Malam Imam Imam, the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, stated this while fielding questions from reporters in his office in Sokoto.
“All necessary processes have been concluded and we expect disbursements to start soon after a thorough screening by both the Sokoto State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (SOSMEDA) and the BoI.
“We hope to support these entrepreneurs to enable them improve on their businesses. A large section of the beneficiaries will be women. By engaging more female entrepreneurs, government is seeking to enhance their economic status which will have ripple effect on the economy of the state in general.
“As for all the beneficiaries, we believe this support will allow them to be more self-reliant and create additional employment opportunities,” he added.
The media aide noted that the terms of the MoU with the Bank of Industry stipulate that the N2b fund will focus on micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
“This is important because SMEs are critical component in implementing the industrialization policy of this administration.
“Sokoto state government is determined to give the people all the required support to improve their businesses. The government thereby urges our entrepreneurs, businessmen and women to partner with government to ensure the success of this important policy,” he stated.
Malam Imam said government will continue to explore avenues to support businesses in the state, adding that government’s decision to set up SOSMEDA was done to harness the potential in the sector for the benefit of the citizenry.
“As you are aware, the role of small scale enterprises in changing the fortune of a given society cannot be over-emphasized. Globally, there has been decisive shift of emphasis from the capital intensive, large scale industrial projects to small and medium scale industries because of their enormous potentials for rapid and sustainable development.
“Apart from their prospect of ensuring a self-reliant industrialization, in terms of ability to rely largely on local raw materials, small scale enterprises are also in a better placed to boost employment and guarantee a more even distribution of development in the state, especially the rural areas,” he added.