14th October, 2023
By Femi Ogunshola
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu has observed that the Southeast geopolitical zone loses between N10 billion and N13 billion in the transportation sector alone on every sit-at-home day ordered by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Kalu, who is from Abia State in the Southeast said this when he hosted executives of the Nigerian Association of Small And Medium Enterprises (NASMEs) who were on a courtesy visit to his office on Friday.
The Deputy Speaker told the NASME executives led by Mr Abdulrashid Yerima, president of the association that IPOB is killing the Southeast geopolitical zone and its businesses with the sit-at-home order which the other regions of the country are not observing.
“When they sit at home in the Southeast, the Southwest, South-South, Northwest, Northeast and North Central are not sitting at home,’’ Kalu said.
He observed also that when SMEs in the Southeast suffer, the whole country suffers, stressing that when the Southeast suffers, Nigeria suffers.
“Prices of goods and services will suffer if there is insecurity in the land,’’ the deputy speaker noted.
Kalu promised legislative commitment to address concerns raised earlier by the visitors.
“We must seek the growth of SMEs; there must be law to support it.
“We must examine existing laws that are not SMEs-friendly. That way, we can address some of the economic challenges facing the country via SMEs,’’ he said.
Kalu promised to work with NASMEs for the growth, adding that the 10th National Assembly would support its course with positive legislation.
“We believe in SMEs because without them major corporations cannot exist. We must support and promote the growth of SMEs,’’ Kalu stressed.
He said also that a recent data indicated that SMEs accounted for 48 per cent of national GDPs in emerging economies, just as the World Bank had declared that SMEs played pivotal role in job creation.
Earlier, the NASME president appealed to Kalu to facilitate laws that would support the growth of SMEs in Nigeria. (NAN)