Bayelsa State Government has made a presentation of N1 billion draft to the Bank of Industry (BoI) as its counterpart fund contribution for the development of medium and small scale enterprises in the state.
Governor Seriake Dickson made the presentation to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the BoI, Ms Evelyn Oputu, represented by the General Manager Southern Operations, Mr. Shuaibu Ottam, in Government House, Yenagoa.
According to a release by Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Governor Dickson said the N1 billion equity contribution would be utilised for the purpose of building entrepreneurial skills with emphasis on the training of youths and women.
The Governor said the empowerment programme is geared towards creating capacity, wealth and job opportunities that would make beneficiaries self-sustaining rather than depend on government and other individuals for their livelihood.
He expressed concern that Bayelsans do not play active role in the local economy and expressed the hope that the partnership between Government and BoI would translate into the improvement of the quality of lives of the people and reverse the trend.
Governor Dickson, who stated that the empowerment programme was being put in place to address the issue of entitlement syndrome, emphasised that Government cannot afford to empower all Bayelsans, no matter how much it decides to do in the face of prevailing circumstances.
He said the development has resulted into a draw back on the capacity of the people to be self-reliant as every young man or woman has an entitlement mentality and rely solely on government
Responding, Ottam said the collaboration between the State Government and the BoI would initially generate a minimum of 200,000 jobs. Presenting a scorecard of the activities of the bank, Oputu also noted that the BoI has already approved 12 projects worth N72 million for the development of Small and Medium Scale businesses in Bayelsa State.
The MD/CEO assured the state government that the confidence reposed in the bank would not be misplaced, adding that she foresees a positive synergy between the bank and the government.