The Obudu hall of Prof. Eyo Ita House, venue of 2016 3rd annual MSME week was filled to the brim yesterday afternoon as the event conference kicked off.In his welcome address, Mr. Gbenga Owolabi – Program director of SSEDC stated that this year theme "Made in Nigeria – Building world class brand" is in line with the Federal government resolve and commitment to support the Made in Nigeria Products. He said with the dwindling oil revenue, this is the best time to stimulate the economy by embracing the Made in Nigeria brand. He welcomed everyone present and thanked them for gracing the occasion.
Giving his goodwill message, the Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade – represented by the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Gaul – said that Cross River State is in the forefront of MSME development as can be seen in the setting up of SSEDC and others like the garment factories. This he said is to encourage and support small businesses to thrive.
Rt. Hon. John Gaul stated that on his own, he believes that true wealth lies in entrepreneurship development and not in politics as some people believe and as such, he has created agricultural and entrepreneurship scheme for young people desirous of developing themselves to take advantage.
Dr. Biodun Adedipe who delivered the first keynote address said that everyone in the conference already knows what the challenges facing Nigeria and so he rather prefers to talk about solutions on how Nigeria can come out of it as the Dutch did many years ago. Dr. Adedipe stated that the best way to come out of economic depression is to stimulate the economy through spending in critical infrastructures like roads, rail lines, ports etc. He gave example of how China, Singapore was able to dominate world economy and global trade by building massive infrastructure across the Country.
Others speaker at the event includes SA to Cross River State Governor on Entrepreneurship - Dr. Yakubu Shendan, Efa Imoke – Deputy President Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Iniobong Jackson – Chairman of Cross River/ Akwa-Ibom State Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, John Etim Bassey - DG of Investment Promotion Cross River State, Shimite Bello - Executive Secretary, Delta State MSMES Development Agency.
The conference covered topics such as Harnessing Regional Manufacturing Potential – The Role of Zonal EDC's; Building a self-sustaining economy via vibrant economic clusters; Economic Outlook in 2016; Stimulating the manufacturing industry: The role of MSME's.
The conference continues today 20th April, 2016 with presentation from CEO of best radio station in the South-South and Amazon Bestselling author amongst other expected dignitaries.