A governorship aspirants of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the forth coming governorship primary in Kogi state, Comrade Gowon Egbunu has promised to introduce an Enterprise Fund for SMEs specifically aimed at productively engaging and empowering a minimum of 500 thousand youths in two years if he becomes governor of kogi state.
Addressing the party’s delegate in Lokoja on Monday, Egbunu noted that there is no question about the fact that small businesses drive the biggest economies in the world today.
“Rather than the usual handouts, that end up leaving our young ones more impoverished over the long-term, this initiative will help to grow the economy through the creation of opportunities for genuine entrepreneurs to thrive
“Unlike the current trend of crony capitalism and trickle-down economics, this initiative will raise a start-up fund of 20 billion Naira on an incremental basis that will be managed by apolitical, selfless and successful stakeholders through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
“The fund will be accessed by budding and established entrepreneurs seeking soft loans of between 300k and 3million to start new businesses or expand existing ones.
“Be interest-free with collateral of a tertiary degree certificate for graduates and 2 guarantors only from non-graduates after proper scrutiny and endorsement of business plans by our team of professionals,” he noted.
In the area of education he state kogi State does not rank in the top 10 among the 36 states in Nigeria according to the performance assessment index of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) with states like Abia, Anambra and Edo ranking in the top 3 in the past 4years while Kogi State ranks in 15th the latest 2018 ranking.
He mentioned that tertiary education is not any better as no institution in the state can be said to be globally competitive owing to the huge infrastructural deficit and quality of teachers.
“This unacceptable decline in the standards of education can be attributed largely to poor funding of the sector, incompetent and unproductive teachers in the system, uninspiring and outdated curriculum still in use and lack of motivation for teachers.
“That some of these teachers have not been paid is a form of demotivation that should not be encouraged. We intend to address the disconnect through the rejigging our school curriculum through the input of professionals that will help us in the process of reviewing and updating same to reflect the modern system of learning and imparting knowledge seamlessly.
“Improved budgetary allocation to education to the tune of 26% over the period of 4 years in line with UNESCO recommendation and also regular payment of counterpart funds to UBEC in order to open up more funding for the development of universal basic education in the state,” he said.