[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
National Council of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says it would work out ways of assisting entrepreneurs of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Abia State to overcome the crippling effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on their businesses, an intervention the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has lauded and pledged to make it work.
President of the NSE Council, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who disclosed this in Government House, Umuahia, when he led his team to visit Ikpeazu, said the members of the Council were in Abia to meet with entrepreneurs of SMEs and find a way of assisting them because he was aware that the SMEs must have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ogunbanjo disclosed that numerous opportunities were available and the Council was ready to assist the SMEs in the Abia to excel, adding that the council wants the SME firms in the State to leverage on the opportunities available in the Nigerian Stock Exchange to thrive in their business.
He commended Ikpeazu for his efforts in the development of SME in Abia and said he was aware of the Governor’s policy guidelines and the trainings he conducted for the SME entrepreneurs.
Responding, Ikpeazu expressed happiness over the interventions of the Council in SMEs in Abia State and assured of his commitment in ensuring that the interventions of the Council worked effectively in Abia.
The Governor said he was ready to collaborate with the Council in finding ways to untie bottlenecks militating against the growth of SMEs in Abia State, including educating the small scale entrepreneurs on how to benefit from the opportunities available in the NSE, and commended the Council for creating platform that would support the growth of SMEs in Abia State.
He informed his guests that he has created the needed conducive environment for SMEs to grow in the State, adding that having identified and made SME a pillar of development in the State, he ensured that artisans were assisted to undergo trainings in overseas on automated shoe making which has strengthened the capacity of the State in the export of shoes to neighbouring countries, as well as promoted leather and garment products in Abia State.
Ikpeazu specifically appreciated the core investor in Golden Guinea Breweries, Chief Okey Nzenwa, who was part of the delegation, for the good job he did that brought Golden Guinea Breweries back to life.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, revealed that the
Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, and some members of the State Executive Council were present at the Council’s visit.