Gov Gabriel Suswam of Benue has said that businessmen and women in the state can now access the NI billion loan facility made available by the state government in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI).
The governor, who was represented by Dr David Salifu, Secretary to the State Government, gave the hint on Friday in Abuja during the Benue Special Day at the 7th Abuja International Trade Fair.
"The government, in its bid to encourage entrepreneurship in the state, entered into agreement with the BOI to provide counterpart funding of one billion naira loan facilities for deserving business men and women in the state.
"Already the state government has made her counterpart contribution of N500 million and the N1 billion loan facilities are now ready for our businesses to access."
Suswam said the state, in line with the Federal Government policy on business, trade and investment as anchored by the privatisation programme, had privatised some companies and earmarked others for such.
The governor said that Benue Brewery Limited and Benue Bottling Company had been privatised, while Makurdi Plastic Industry had been earmarked for privatisation.
He said the state government had reached an understanding with communities and land owners for them to have shareholdings in the industry and become part owners of businesses instead of getting "compensation which is temporary benefit for the use of their lands".
"This initiative which will have a long-lasting impact on their economy is yielding fruitful result."
Suswam said the government had also built more than 2,000 stalls to enhance commercial activities, and called on investors to explore the investment opportunities in the state.
"Benue State has over two billion tonnes of mineral deposits such as limestone, glass and barites, cola, bauxite, fluorspar, gypsum, salt kaolin, lead and zinc and gems tannest gas scattered all over the state."
He said the industries in the state, including Benue Cement Plc; Star Cement Ltd; Taraku Mills Ltd; Benue Brewery Ltd; Benue Bottling company Ltd; and Benue Burnt Bricks Company.
Others were Markurdi Ultra Modern International Market; Mbatiav Cement; Lobi Cassava; Ben fruits; Wanune Mango Juice; and Toamto Pun Factories were at various stage of completion.
"Investors have the opportunity to explore a joint venture relationship with the state government in these areas."
Suswam also said that the state had large commercial centres and financial institutions, adding that its strategic location at the centre of a network of roads was ideal for business activities.