Situating the Aba Business and Leadership Summit 2021 in the Abia State Long-Term Development Plan

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The Abia State Government, in conjunction with the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, is hosting the Aba Business and Leadership Summit with the theme, ‘Transferring Tested and Proven Business Models to the Next Generation’ to arrest the worrying trend of impactful businesses fading out with the demise of their founders.

The Summit aims to look into the issues relating to a malaise, the death of businesses after the death of their founders, and begin to synthesize solutions that will ensure the longevity of current successful businesses in the city and Abia State by extension.

 

How does this Summit connect with Abia State Plan

This summit fits perfectly in the Trade and Investment pillar of the Abia State Long-Term Development Plan (see Chapter 6, page 136-147)

The overwhelming goal of the trade and investment pillar of the Abia State Long-Term Development Plan (ABSLTDP) is to harness and mobilize private sector and citizens’ energies to stimulate and sustain growth and development of Abia State.

The strategy is for the government to drive the initiatives that will unleash the potentials of private participants, including MSMEs, to foster the growth and development of the State. The pathway framework adopted obviously indicates that the interventions of trade and investment pillar cut across all the sectors of the State.

 

Launching a 30-Year Growth and Development Plan: The Abia State 30-Year Long Term Plan (2020-2050)

 

Recommendations

In addition to developing the capacity of young business founders and addressing the worrying trend of dying trans-generational businesses, which is what this Summit addresses, the Abia State Long-Term plan (page 143-145) prescribes the following measures to support MSMEs in Aba and Abia State at large:

  • Business Incubation Parks: The State should establish business incubation centres to provide a full range of services helping MSMEs grow from conceptual, startup, incubation, implementation, maturation, to profit and growth stages. We believe that this is one of the founding visions behind the proposed Enyimba Economic City and His Excellency should not relent in pursuing this vision.

 

  • Accelerated e-Commerce: As the world progresses into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), it is important for the government to also begin exploring frameworks which will foster the digitization of trade in Aba. The State Government can accelerate eCommerce in Aba by doing the following:
    • Encouraging broadband companies that provide fast, cheap and reliable internet
    • Expansion of supply chain systems in Aba to ensure more efficient supply of goods and services
    • ICT training for traders and trade unions to ensure that technology is effectively leveraged by traders to sell their goods and services beyond Nigeria.

 

  • Access to Finance: Abia State Government needs to strengthen microcredit organizations to service the SME and informal sector. The Government also needs to create business finishing centers to assist prospective investors to meet documentation requirements to access and utilise available single digit interest financial windows from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, Development Bank of Nigeria  and multilateral loans and grants.

 

  • Capacity Building: PIND commends the Abia State Government for organizing this summit as this feeds directly into this block of the plan, however, permit us to remind the State that on Page 145 of the Abia State plan, the State set a target that by 2030, 60 percent of existing MSMEs shall have attained certification which will attract many benefits. There’s a need to create a structured capacity building plan to ensure that these kinds of summits are sustainable with measurable outcomes.

 

Conclusion

As a key development partner of Abia State, PIND Foundation is committed to supporting the State in the implementation of the 30-year Abia State Long-Term Development Plan which holds so much promise for Nde Abia and future generations. Thank you for continually making us your partner of choice.

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