From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that his administration would continue to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for the sustained growth of the state’s economy.
He regretted that due to politics, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been starving the state economy of funds. He called on politicians to work towards developing their respective communities instead of perpetually playing politics.
The governor who spoke on Tuesday night when he granted audience to the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency and the CBN, noted that his administration was already working with the CBN to support SMEs through grants.
He said: “As a state government, we have taken steps to support and improve SMEs in the state. Everything will be done to encourage entrepreneurship through legislation. Support for SMEs will empower more people and create jobs that will sustain a greater percentage of our people. We will continue to invest in SMEs.”
The governor charged politicians in leadership positions to use their offices to impact the lives of the people. He said, “party is a mere vehicle to attaining office. Once elections are over, let us focus on projects delivery. Whatever you are doing, do it for the people.”
Wike condemned the deliberate plots to rig the 2019 elections, pointing out that the election manipulators would be resisted. According to him, insecurity grew across the country because the Federal Government preferred to play politics with security challenges in the state.
He commended the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency and the CBN for coming to the state for their retreat, saying they have emulated other groups who found the state a worthy host of important events.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr. Jones Onyereri, said the retreat was necessary to forge a formidable front to build a framework that would grow the middle class.
He noted that the right steps have been taken to build SMEs, which are necessary to empower the people and create jobs.
Deputy Governor of the CBN, Mr. Suleiman Baro, said the essence of the retreat was to facilitate the oversight function of the National Assembly. He said the CBN would continue to work with the National Assembly to strengthen the fiscal and monetary framework for the economic development of the country.