The Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state. According to the Governor, SMEs are pivotal to the development of a sustainable economy.
“Our plan is to build a strong economy. We aspire to build an economy like Lagos which has an IGR of about N35 billion monthly. That’s about what we generate here in a year. So, we want to scale up our IGR and it is the businesses like what you are doing here (at Kwara Mall) that will help us to scale up.’’
He pledged his government’s support for small businesses, including those affected in the recent looting of public and private properties in Ilorin, the capital city of the state.
“You are an investor, and I know with what happened, you will be disappointed. But I urge you not to lose hope but to forge ahead, stay with us and continue to invest in Kwara. What happened does not represent our character.’’
The Governor while addressing an audience with a delegation of the Palms Mall led by its chairman Tayo Amusan, described Kwara state Indigenes as enterprising, encouraging investors not to quit the state in the wake of the EndSARs protests which saw massive looting of property and businesses across the city.
Amusan, while commending the governor’s show of concern and swift response following the attacks, cautioned Nigerians against attacking public and private properties during any crisis, saying such actions constitute threats to economic growth.
“I am much more concerned about ordinary entrepreneurs, the small and medium entrepreneurs. The persons that have hairdressing salon, selling small materials or those who just opened businesses there,” he said.
“Shoprite is another firm I feel for because this is the second time that it will be attacked (not in Kwara but elsewhere around the nation). The first time was during the xenophobic attacks. A number of places were attacked and they almost folded up. We have to keep on appealing to them.
“I want to also appeal to Nigerians that we should not destroy ourselves. This is not it. I was at the Mall and I saw some of the workers there, doing nothing. I must say, we will recover. We will try and see that some shops return before the end of the year.”
In the same vein, Ajibola Sobande, portfolio manager of Palms Mall, described the incident as unfortunate, saying that at least 39 brands were affected in the Mall alone.
“It was an unfortunate incident. The incident of that day cannot be underestimated. We want to thank the governor because we called and you answered us. We did lose properties but we are grateful that no life was lost. We want to say thank you for being there.
“Our hope is to get people back to their businesses because we have over 39 brands in the Mall. They are all medium and small enterprises outside the Shoprite. We are hoping that things will get back to normal”
Source: Business Day
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