The Abia State government will soon establish a commission to guarantee ease of doing business in the state, according to Governor Alex Otti.
According to a statement made by his spokeswoman, Kasie Uko, on Friday, Mr. Otti revealed this on Wednesday when some Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) employees paid him a visit in the state.
Olaoba Ayotunde, CBN Controller for the Abia State Branch, led the officers.
Linus Okezie, the chairperson of the Abia State Chapter of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, was also there.
The CBN officials had already complained to Mr. Otti during the visit about certain unpleasant interactions the bank had with past state administrations that had impeded the implementation of several of its intervention programs.
Speaking on behalf of the officials, Kelechi Adiele stated that part of the problems stemmed from a lack of coordination and the framework required to carry out interventions in the state.
“The topic of recuperation is a different problem we face and one we would need your assistance with. When it comes to recovery, we don’t have any structural traditional institutions to support us locally, according to Mr. Adiele, who oversees the CBN’s Department of Development Finance in Abia State.
The authorities also brought to the governor’s attention the length of time it takes to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), which they claimed prevented many locals from taking advantage of CBN assistance.
“So many businessmen and women, who are small entrepreneurs, wish to access funds from CBN, but they do not have a C of O, and you know what that means,” they said.
In response, Mr. Otti pledged to establish the commission to ensure ease of doing business in the state, stating that the action will help to remove the challenges that locals and investors have when trying to establish and expand their firms.
We are aware of the fact that when doing business is difficult, individuals will seek out environments where doing business is simple. So, by not addressing every issue, we lose. Mr. Otti continued.
According to data made public by BudgIT, Abia State’s ranking for ease of doing business fell from 16th in 2018 to 32nd in 2022, a 50% decline from its starting position.
The decline took place under the tenure of the state’s most recent governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.
ready to collaborate.
Mr. Otti, who prevailed in the state’s March 18 governorship election, had previously spent some time in the banking industry.
During the visit, CBN officials expressed happiness at the election of their former banking industry coworker to the position of state governor.
“We are pleased that a senior colleague like you is leading the Abia State Government. Therefore, those of us in the banking sector need to find it simpler to communicate with the state administration, according to Mr. Adiele.
The CBN has identified Abia State to receive a palliative of food goods, the officials informed Mr. Otti, in order to lessen the adverse effects of the elimination of fuel subsidies on the inhabitants of the state, particularly the most vulnerable poor.
They stated that the CBN was ready to work with the state government to create the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Village, finance cooperatives, and other empowerment and development initiatives, as well as other projects.
In order for the people of the state to benefit from the bank’s programs and initiatives, Governor Otti expressed his satisfaction at meeting with the CBN officials and pledged to take up the concerns they mentioned.
“I wholeheartedly concur with you. When you increase some of the supports you indicated, recovery can occasionally turn into an issue. First and foremost, we need to think about how to motivate our staff to take advantage of some of the things you stated. Most crucial, to assist you in getting better as well.
“You also mentioned the Certificate of Occupancy issue. It’s one of the things that hinders the state’s ability to conduct business easily. We were somewhere in the 20s out of the 36 states the last time I looked. That is not a favorable situation for a state that serves as the industrial and commercial hub of the Southeast, he added.