By Dare Akogun
THE governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has assented to the Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) bill, effectively creating an agency to drive investments and development in the micro-economic sub-sector in the state.
The bill, signed in the presence of the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Danlad-Salihu, and some other government officials on April 10, 2022, contains 36 sections and five parts.
The establishment of the bureau seeks to support MSMEs and improve the business environment in Kwara.
The bureau would initiate and articulate ideas for MSME policy thrust in the state, and serve as a vanguard and focal point for rural industrialisation, poverty alleviation and eradication, technology acquisition and adaptation, job creation and sustainable livelihood, according to the law.
According to the draft bill, “The bureau will promote and facilitate development programmes, instruments and support services to accelerate development, mobilisation, networking and linkage of MSMEs.
“It will mobilise internal and external resources, including technical assistance for MSME institutions, trade associations, and non-governmental organisations; oversee, coordinate and monitor developments in the MSME sub-sector; and design, package and promote cottage, MSMS industrial projects.”
The bureau was also created to serve as a database as it is empowered to, among other things, demand for and obtain relevant information, data and reports on activities relating to promotion and development of micro, small and medium scale enterprises from banks, research and development institutions and other support organisations.
It would also provide industrial extension services to micro, small and medium scale enterprises, fabricators of machinery, and beneficiaries of micro-credit loans.
The law also establishes a governing board for the bureau, with its leadership and members to be drawn from across various sectors and senatorial districts of the state.
The bill establishing the bureau was passed on March 9, 2022 by the Kwara State House of Assembly.