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Full text of Obiano’s speech on the economic stimulus package

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Willie Obiano

“Rising from the Brinks”: A Special Broadcast on the Economic Stimulus Package by the Government of Anambra State on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ndi Anambra, ekenem unu!

Following the formal announcement by the Federal Government that the nation’s economy has gone into a RECESSION, I consider it my duty as your Governor to distil the message of the economic situation of the country down to the grassroots. However, following this development too, I am happy to announce to you that I have come up with a Stimulus Package that will ease the pain of the recession and help our dear state bounce back to prosperity.

Ndi Anambra, before I unfold my Stimulus Package to you, I want to assure you that the government of Anambra State is fully aware of the difficulties you are going through in your families, in your businesses and in your various communities. I wish to assure you that you are not alone! My brothers and sisters, I feel your pain! Biko, unu ebezina maka na agu nwelu nchekwube anaghi egbu. Anyi nwelu olile anya! Oga adikwanu nma!

Brothers and sisters, our country’s painful journey into the current recession is fairly known to us. The events that triggered this decline are very well documented in the public domain. So, I will not go through the details of how we arrived where we are.  Ndi Anambra, I wish to assure you that after a careful study of the situation, I am more convinced now than ever before that with our fundamentals, our infinite capacity to come back from deficits and our implicit faith in God, our story should be different in Anambra State.

Consequently, our intervention comes in Four Key Areas-

1)      Tax Relief Programme,

2)    Special Intervention Programmes for Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs and Large         Enterprises,

3)   Social Intervention Programme for Low Income Households and finally;

 4)  Intervention in Infrastructure-for-Jobs

The objective of our Tax Relief Programme is to evaluate existing taxes, levies and fees in the state and introduce some waivers and in some cases scrap the collection of some illegal levies imposed on our people. I believe that these will go a long way to cushioning the impact of the recession on households in the state. Our immediate response in this regard is as follows:

1.     I hereby suspend the sale of consolidated emblems in Anambra State

2.     I suspend the collection of Hawkers Permit on all streets in the state

3.      I suspend the collection of Wheelbarrow Tax in all markets in the state

4.  Lastly, I abolish the imposition of unapproved levies on students in public primary and secondary schools in the state.

All these pronouncements shall take immediate effect.

Next is the Special Intervention Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs and Large Enterprises. Ndi Anambra, this sector of the economy accounts for over 800,000 jobs in Anambra State today. 

These businesses are suffering from the acute drop in the supply of Foreign Exchange at the moment and are left with two options; scale down their operations or shut down completely.

Ndi b’anyi, my role as your Governor is to envisage challenges and provide solutions that will ensure a speedy comeback from difficult situations that require the power and might of a state government.

This is what my administration has done in the past two years through ASBA, Anambra Small Business Agency. This Agency is a very important institution that I created to serve as a catalyst to our domestic economy. 

So far, ASBA has effectively distributed the sum of N1.5bn as start-up capital to many SMEs and MSMEs in Anambra State. These funds are part of the N2bn that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made available to states about two years ago to help stimulate local entrepreneurship across the country.

Anambra Small Business Agency, ASBA was set up with credible manpower and a strategic focus on the productive sectors. I must thank the CBN for demonstrating a great foresight with that credit scheme and I hope that when we knock on their door again soon, it shall be opened onto us since Anambra has managed the last drawdown well through ASBA.

Ndi Anambra, although it may not be known to many people, the truth is that the famous Anambra Rice owes its growth to our intervention through ASBA. So many other manufacturers have also benefitted from this initiative. 

Therefore, arising from the highly visible success recorded by ASBA, we shall carry out the following policies to provide relief to the productive sectors and stimulate the domestic economy –

1.      We shall provide ASBA with a minimum of N3 billion to lend to SMEs and MSMEs at 9% interest rate across key sectors.

2.      We shall re-channel earlier accessed Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme funds totalling to about N1.5 billion to support this sector. ASBA will handle it as usual and rigorously follow the standard modalities.

 3.      We shall fast-track the roll-out of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Program in our state to support SME/MSMEs in the agricultural sector.

Continued… 

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