Bayelsa Govt Moves To Boost SMEs Development

In a bid to enhance Economic Development of the state, The State Government has specified its desire and readiness to strengthen small and medium enterprises through effective and well coordinated cooperative societies.

This was made known by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo during a courtesy visit by the Director General and members of the Bayelsa State Bureau for Cooperative Development (BSBCD) at his office in Government House recently.

He said, that the success of Small and Medium Enterprises and the development of any economy depends on strong effectiveness of cooperatives.

“We are not paying sufficient attention to the development of cooperatives in Nigeria. So, i think your major challenge is that of enlightenment, because quite a lot of people are still very naive and ignorant about cooperatives. We need to expand the horizon of our enlightenment. The difference between us and those enlightened societies is that they grow with cooperatives. Most of the viable football clubs in Europe and other parts of the world are through cooperatives. So, this government is determined to work with cooperatives that are effective”, he stated

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Speaking further, the knowledge of the importance and working of a cooperative society was still very low in Bayelsa, and therefore, he charged the Bureau for Cooperative Development to intensify its enlightenment programme especially at the grassroots level.

He applauded the Niger Delta University (NDU) cooperative society which had made significant milestones, and called on other cooperatives in the state to emulate the NDU model to change the narrative for good.

The Director-General of the state Bureau for Cooperative Development, Chief Ebikiri Akpolo, said the agency was set up to regulate the activities of cooperatives in line with extant laws of the state in particular and the country in general.

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Akpolo disclosd that, there are over seven hundred thousands cooperators in the state, adding that the Bureau has a total of N1.5 million as its targeted revenue for this year and he appealed to government to provide the Bureau with a better office accommodation; loan scheme for cooperative societies in the state, as well as official vehicles to enhance the its operations effective.

By Owunna Goodness, Bayelsa