BANK OF INDUSTRY & JOB CREATION IN DELTA STATE
By Franklin Alli
LAST week, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, stormed the Bank of Industry along the Marina in Lagos. He was on a job creation drives.
At the meeting, the Governor told the bank's Management Team: 'We have moved from our three point's agenda (peace and security, infrastructure development and human capital development) to emphasis on an issue that is national - job creation.'
According to him, there are some people in Delta who have investments and are looking for a way to move to the small scale industries. We want to go to every local government areas because we have the raw materials and the human resources to build industries to empower our people. The immediate benefit is job creation and empowerment. It is for this reason the State is seeking partnership from the BOI.'
He stated that his administration has been doing a lot to ensure peace and security, and has also been working tirelessly to fast-track all the processes involve in human capital development processes; yet, our greatest challenge is how to create jobs for our people especially our youths, women and our able bodied men who are currently unemployed in the state. 'We are doing everything possible to see how we can create jobs for them and that is one of the reasons why we are here.'
The Governor believes that with almost five decades of in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian market and its experienced and specilaised team of professionals in diverse fields, the bank has the competence to help the State to create job and train entrepreneurs.
'We have come to BOI not just for the funding but building the capacity to be able to identify viable projects and to be able to manage those projects,' he said.
Fielding questions on the construction of a N100 billion Warri Industrial Business Park (WIBO) in the state, he noted that parks are for large industries and it takes long time to mature, say 5 to 10 years to start making positive impact on the economy.
'We do not have 10 years to empower our people and of course, there is nobody to help us achieve this than the BOI. What we have done is to assess where we are and where we want to be. As a state government, we have always said that no matter how much the state government has, it cannot just fund many of its developmental activities,' he added.
In her response, MD/CEO, BOI, Ms. Evelyn Oputu, stated that the bank has had a long standing relationship with Delta and that the aim of the meeting was to sustain the relationship and the agenda of Delta State in creating jobs for the youth, women and particularly the men in the state.
The Governor has asked us to do two things that are very crucial; it is not just job creation; It is to ensure that the weaker segments in the society are empowered; the youth and the women are empowered along with the men. He also wants every local government in the state to have industries and also wants it to be direct, using the comparative advantage that exists in Delta,' she said.
She assured the Governor that the bank is going to adopt a model to ensure that intervention funds not only get to the small scale industries but also to the grassroots.
'As a bank we have rules and regulations and some of those small businesses, the underserved do not always have the capacity and the knowledge that is required in a bank. So, we are going to try and understand how we are going to change it.
There are models that have worked all around the world. We are triggering it to ensure that the government meets the request immediately and we are going to see changes beginning from January. This is not something that will take time, she said.