By Yemi Balogun

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kogi Enterprise Development Agency, KEDA Hajiya Rekiya Onaivo Sanni has said that World Bank assisted COVID-19 recovery project will boost the local economy and facilitate recovery of thousands of MSEs.

She stated this on Wednesday, July 7 2021 at the stakeholders meeting with heads of commercial banks and financial institutions for COVID-19 Action Recovery & Economic Stimulus Programme (NG-CARES) Result Area 3.

The meeting which had in attendance representatives from United Bank of Africa, First City Monument Bank Ltd, NIRSAL, Microfinanace banks and cooperative agencies offered robust information and sensitisation session for stakeholders in the NG-CARES programme.

In her brief, Hajjia Onaivo gave an overview of the Result Areas to be covered within the project. She emphasised that, although, there are three (3) Result Areas, Kogi State will only focus on Result Area 3, which is aimed at facilitating the recovery and enhancing capabilities of local MSEs through interventions designed to reduce the vulnerability and cushion the effect of income loss brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resultant disruptions to regular commercial activity.

She furthered explained that the intervention will focus on Micro and Small Enterprises with the exclusion of Medium Enterprises co-funding the loan facility accessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Executive also explained the process of enrolment, business categorisation, targeted beneficiaries, and duration of the programme to the participants.

“The programme will be transparent and fair, and information will be reeled out by the KEDA communication team as times goes on” she added.

The Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon. Yunusa Olofu Gabriel who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of Commerce and Industry, Barr. Suleiman Abdulkareem commended the strides of the Executive Governor of Kogi State His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello in bridging economic gaps in the state, part of which is the establishment of KEDA.

Barr Abdulkareem said that the transparency exhibited in the course of the project implementation will determine the end result which, according to him, was part of the reason the programme is to be handled by an Agency independent of government. He expressed optimism that KEDA being handled by a capable hand will record great success.

In her closing remarks, Hajiya Sanni expressed hope that the partnership with stakeholders will work because the project is geared toward relieving the burden of the SMEs in Kogi State.


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