PORT HARCOURT- Rivers Government is to raise N15 billion through the establishment of Equity Fund to provide loans for entrepreneurs in the State.
Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers disclosed this at the Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Amaechi, represented by Mr Chima Chinye, the State Commissioner for commerce and Industry, said the State Government would contribute N5billion to the fund every year for three years.
He said the money would be given out as loans to the entrepreneurs in the state to enable them to invest in their businesses.
According to him, almost all state government businesses/enterprises had collapsed, stressing that government had no business in running businesses.
He said it was the responsibility of government to fix the necessary infrastructure, create business-friendly environment and tax policies.
“Government has no business running business. That is why it sold Presidential Hotel and looking for who will buy Delta Hotel in Port Harcourt.
“’The government is expected to put the infrastructure on ground for the private sector’’, Amaechi said.
He explained that there was “value change’’ in the state and said the people should ‘tap’ into the change.
Mr Chika Onuegbu, Chairman of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Rivers chapter, said the states’ revenue allocation from Federation Account had dropped in recent times, “an experience shared by other states.’’
Onuegbu blamed the development on oil theft confronting the nation and said the Federal Government’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) had also declined because of this development.
He urged the Federal Government to work harder to protect its sources of revenue as a critical source of national development fund.
In his keynote address, President Goodluck Jonathan said that “social stability was economic stability.’’
Jonathan, represented by Mr Sampson Ngerebara, Managing Director, Intedeco Nigeria Limited, a Port Harcourt based company, said favourable policies and friendly environment were critical to business enterprises.
He said the private sector remained the leader of the business sector.
.According to him, human resource was the key factor in entrepreneurship while the role of government was to encourage investors. (NAN)