BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, on Friday tasked State Governments to place more emphasis on planning rather than just budgeting as is currently the practice in most states.
Agba also said that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), designed to steer the country’s economy from the woods had guaranteed a ten quarter consecutive growth to the economy.
The Minister, who spoke when he played host to a delegation of Kastina State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Council (KSMSMEC), led by the Deputy Governor of the State, Mannir Yakubu, who doubles as the Chairman of the Council, noted that states had in the past concentrated efforts on just budgeting.
According to him; “Budgeting must grow from a development plan and that explains the success we have recorded so far in the economy, although this has not met our expectations, but it has remained consistent in the last ten quarters.”
Agba praised the efforts of the Kastina State Government in setting up the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Council, saying “available statistics reveal that MSMEs employ between 60% and 70% of the working population and therefore hold the key to the growth of the economy.”
He urged the delegation to continue investment in the area and pledged the support of the Ministry to the State Government, especially in the areas of capacity development and technical assistance, to ensure that Kastina MSME council delivers on its mandate.
Agba further urged the State Government to take advantage of the 500 million Euros approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the Bank of Industry to support MSME development in the country, by working with the Bank to access the fund.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor informed the Minister that the state was desirous of creating an enabling environment that would facilitate economic growth in the state and as such had taken a number of steps such as setting up of the state MSME council, Katsina State Investment Agency, etc, to achieve this.
He therefore requested the minister to assist the State with the needed technical assistance in attracting more funds from Development partners and other donor agencies as well as capacity development of the state work force.