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MSMEs, the bedrock of Economic Development– PHCCIMA President

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The President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) Eze, Sir Mike Elechi, NPOM, JP, FNIM, DSSRS has said that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the bedrock of economic development.

He made the statement during his presentation at a programme put together by the SMEs and NGOs Trade group of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) to mark the 2024 World MSMEs Day celebration.

The PHCCIMA President called for support of SMEs growth in Rivers State which is an alternative to reduction in unemployment, adding that if every MSME owner could expand his business to encourage additional person into his business plus the hundreds of business owners across the state, it will make an impact in the economic growth of the state.

Eze Elechi regretted that instead of the younger generation to focus on developing themselves, they rather follow the political class in search of quick money ” Oga am loyal, Honourable we deh loyal” .

He thanked Rivers State government for supporting the growth of MSMES in the state by providing the RVSG/BOI N4bn loan saying that the amount provided by the government cannot go round hence his advice to the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunities so as it will spread across.

In his presentation, the Honourable Commissioner for Youths Development, Dr Chisom Gbali explained that the Rivers State government under the watch of His Excellency Sir Siminalayi Fubara, GSSRS has concluded plans to rewrite the history of Rivers youths by building the youth incubation center aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship in the state.

He maintained that their target is to emulate apprenticeship system as it has been practiced in the South Eastern region where someone will be encouraged to learn a trade and be settled at the end of a given period of time to begin his or her own business.

Earlier in her speech, the Chairman, SMEs & NGOs Trade group of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Mrs Edughom Hanson explained that Sustainable Development Goal cannot be achieved without MSMEs development because it is the back bone of the economy survival, hence her call for collective collaborations with both government and private sector.

Speaking on PHCCIMA and it’s role in supporting MSMES in Rivers State, the Director General of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Mr Erasmus Chukunda said the Chamber which was established about 67 years ago have been promoting the growth of MSMEs in the state, and mentioned some of the roles which includes but not limited to, advocating for a conducive business environment to enable businesses thrive in the state, elimination of double taxation through the collaborative effort of the Chamber and the state government, providing business development and support services, provision of various loans facilities, creation of an online directory of financial members, regular business forums for members to be informed of current business trends and development, trade fairs and exhibitions for members to showcase their goods and services, and foreign trade missions.

The 2024 PHCCIMA World MSMES day celebration with it’s theme: “MSMEs, the future of Rivers State” had a chain of speakers including, Pastor Jonathan Tobin, Managing Director, Rivers State Microfinance Agency, Mr. Ibifiri Bobmanuel, Founder/CEO BobTrack Tractors among others. Key highlights of the occasion were a tour of exhibition stands and presentation of Certificates of appreciation to the Speakers and sponsors of the event as shown in the pictures gallery above