2017 Budget has favoured the SME

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Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (ECOBPA) has lauded the Federal government for various provisions in the 2017 Budget {designed} to facilitate the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Coordinator,  Emeka Okereke, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday.

Okereke commended the Federal government for using the SMEs as a tool to improve the economy and get the nation out of recession.

“The Federal government is budgeting N15 billion for the recapitalisation of the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Bank of Industry (BoA) is highly good, especially as the two institutions would be the major bankers of SMEs with the minor interest rate.

“Also, the additional 1. 3 billion dollars beginning with the Development Bank of Nigeria is a welcome development as this will strengthen the SMEs, manufacturing sector as well as the agricultural sector, ” he said.

The coordinator also said that the Federal Government has made a historic move to agriculture in the 2017 budget.

“It should be noted that for the first time in history, agriculture received an increased allocation of N92 billion to aggravate effort toward boosting the Agro sector, ” he said.

According to him, the Federal Government should be commended for its intention to reduce tax earnings from the non-oil sector (SMEs) from N1. 45 trillion in 2016 to N1.37 trillion in 2017, which represents 5. 5 percent reduction.

Okereke said that all the right steps would increase the economy and drive entrepreneurs into the creation of goods and services in 2017.

He, however, advised the Federal government to also review existing policies that were not creating conducive environment for SMEs, which ought to be engine room of economic growth, to make an effort in the country.

NAN reports that ECOBPA contains 32 business and professional associations within Enugu State. 

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