Chairman of Akwa Ibom Business Community, an umbrella body for organized economic operators in the state, Lordson Umani, identified lack of government funding, multiple taxation and inadequate public services as some of the challenges crippling businesses in the state. ‘State.
He listed other challenges in the sector including lack of government patronage, promotion and lack of government support as collateral instruments.
Umani, who said this at a press conference in Uyo on Monday, called on the state government to put in place adequate policy measures to save the sector from impending collapse.
While appreciating the state government for the steps it has taken to promote the industrial development of the state, Umani said the sector needs all the support from the government to play its vital role as the foundation of development.
According to him, intervention funds for deserving industrialists and SME operators, appropriate mechanisms to control multiple taxation by local agents, the protection of locally produced goods and services, and the provision of critical public services such as electricity would advance the sector and ensure the rapid development of the state. .
He said that “Government should set up intervention fund as a deliberate policy in the form of grants and loans to help deserving industries and SMEs in the organized business sector.
“The government should also adopt a deliberate policy of promoting locally produced goods and services, where appropriate, as this will give producers the opportunity and the incentive to stand out in a competitive market. In addition, promoting locally produced goods in all government projects will facilitate growth and expansion and expose producers to a larger market which leads to employment opportunities in society.
“Efforts must be intensified to improve the provision of critical public services – electricity is a burden on industrialists. Currently the conditions are unbearable; insufficient/very low power supply and the cost of diesel and fuel are things we cannot mention.Applicable and appropriate laws should be put in place to control taxation and multiple levies by local agents.He said.
The President, who lamented that successive governments have continued to undermine the sector both in terms of policies and governance, however said business would not be business as usual as only politicians with the right policies will be elected during the next dispensation. .
“It has become necessary to let the world know that over time we have been undermined and sidelined in both policy and governance. We are therefore using this medium to let the government and the new government know in 2023 that our position is not going to continue as usual”
While assuring that the sector would see tremendous growth if all measures were put in place and implemented by the government, Umani said his prayer was that the government would develop at least three industrial hubs and power stations for cottage industries and the development of artisans in the state’s three senatorial districts
He also urged the government to issue an executive decree for industrial funding through the business community for SMEs, cottage industries, research and development.
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