Akwa Ibom Govt. to Partner with Bank on micro-credit scheme
Akwa Ibom Government has renewed its commitment to improve the living condition of its citizens by partnering with the private sector to boost micro-credit schemes in the state.
Governor Godswll O. Akpabio set off the scheme with Intercontinental Bank Plc with a pledge of N2 billion on Monday, when the Managing Director of the bank, Mr Mahmud Alabi, paid a courtesy visit to Government House, Uyo.
''The idea is to target small scale enterprises. I want you to make it a one-digit affair so that the interest may not affect the small entrepreneurs too much'', he said.
''Government will continue to work with you to ensure we have a beneficial relationship at the end of the day. I hope when you do recapitalization, the state government will proud to do business with you now that things have turned around in the bank'', he noted.
The Governor expressed optimism that the corporate organizations in the state would repose in the host community by employing many indigenes of the state in the bank, saying '' We don't just want to bank with you, but we want to be partners. I want to see the number of Akwa Ibom indigenes working in the bank. I hope with time we can boast of executive directors in the bank. This will encourage us to bank with you''.
While describing his appointment as merited having served as an executive director in the Union Bank of Nigeria, Plc, he commended the managing director for employment of some Akwa Ibom indigenes in the bank and enjoined him during tenure to ensure some are put in the management cadre.
Akpabio who challenged the bank officials to support the free, compulsory education policy of the state government and other programmes of the state government vowed to create an enabling environment for banking and other businesses to thrive.
Alabi thanked the governor for granting them the courtesy visit and attributed his lateness in visiting the governor to the initial challenges of restoring hope and confidence in the bank particularly protecting investment of depositors.
The Managing Director congratulated the governor on his achievements in office appealed to him to continue to collaborate with the bank mainly in the areas of industrialization, housing and micro finance programmes of the state government.
AKSG TO DIVERSIFY REVENUE BASE TO MEET ECONOMIC, SOCIAL DEMANDS
Akwa Ibom Government has reiterated its readiness to diversify its revenue base to meet the growing economic and social demands.
Governor Godswill O. Akpabio who stated this Tuesday at the opening of a two-day seminar on ''How to Improve Our Internally Generated Revenue'' organized by the state government in conjuction with OVL at Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Nwaniba said this could sustain developmental efforts and good life the government is assiduously creating for the people.
Akpabio who later officially opened the seminar pointed out ''Our developmental projects are of two types: the short term and the long term ones. But they are all in our estimation necessities for creating the good life for our people. Of course, that is besides our holistic approach towards repositioning our state for all-round greatness''.
He cited the introduction of free, compulsory education that has so far gulped N30 billion, embarking on massive construction of roads, health centres, recreational facilities, among others, as part of the developmental programmes in dire need of more funds.
''To do more means we must have more funds at our disposal, and this is why we must develop new sources of revenue. Just last year, we held the first seminar on this subject. This is a follow up to that…We have presently raised our internally generated revenue over 200 per cent from the level we inherited in 2007. Given our aggressive development agenda, this is hardly enough and by the end of this seminar, we are seeing the possibility of taking this record a notch higher'', the Governor emphasised.
Akpabio thanked the experts and resource persons for helping to reposition the economy and take the state to the level but advised participants to take the seminar seriously.
The Chairman of the Occasion, Mr. Ray Ekpu said the governor actually mooted the idea of the seminar to him, noting that the seminar would further cement and strengthen the revenue base of the state.
Ekpu who is the Chief Executive Officer, Newswatch Magazine in Lagos regretted mono economy the Country's which is oil inclined and stressed the need for states to diversify their economy in event the oil dries up or fluctuates in the international market.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Bassey Akpan recalled that a Revenue Summit was held last year whose recommendations are being implemented by his ministry.
Akpan thanked the state governor though inherited more than N17 billion from his predecessor, he has not borrowed to execute his mega projects.
He hinted the state government collects about N1.3 billion monthly internal revenue, attributing the increase to checkmating financial leakages and running on-line monitoring system of revenue. Stating the need for the government to prepare for the post-oil era, the commissioner observed that the government has constructed 12 tax offices in the local government areas, promising that more would be built in other areas.
In a keynote address, a one-time Minister of Finance, Dr. Idika Kalu Idika thanked the organizers but harped on the need for government to always borrow and tie the money to meaningful projects against the rainy days.