BENIN CITY – In a concerted effort to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state for increased productivity, the Edo State Government through its skills development platform, EdoJobs, with development partners, are set for the launch of the Edo Production Centre, a multipurpose, one-stop-shop for small businesses.
The centre is the brainchild of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration and will be managed in partnership with the Market Development for the Niger Delta (MADE) II programme, Benson Idahosa University (BIU) and the Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa, the United States of America.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Skills Development and Job Creation, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said that a number of production centres are going to be sited in the three senatorial districts of the state, noting that the pilot centre is situated in Benin City.
She added that a stakeholders’ meeting has been schedule for January 7, after which different small and medium business owners will be allowed into the centre, which is equipped with 24 hours electricity and other support structures to make them more productive.
Small businesses expected to be hosted at the centre include welding and fabrication, recycling and waste management, polythene makers, printing press, clothing factories, bakeries and confectionaries, packaging companies, among others. The center is fitted with factory space, security and office space.
She said there will be live-in desks for relevant government agencies to engage, support and provide services to small businesses at the centre, noting that the agencies to be hosted are the Bank of Industry (BoI), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Edo Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), among others.
According to her, “The Edo Production Centre is a space where small manufacturing and production businesses can take advantage of constant power supply, advanced training facilities and a space to do their business.
“We realised that typical skills acquisition programmes need to be revamped to create lasting impact and provide viable paths to prosperity for youths. So, skills acquisition in Edo is currently delivered alongside entrepreneurship and business management, start-up acceleration, digital marketing and branding programmes.”
She said the project will be made up of a shared workspace for artisans and an efficient delivery and logistics ecosystem, and users will be able to enjoy power and water supply, internet services, warehousing, a shared online portal to improve access to market and in some cases shared equipment.
“Artisan groups to benefit from the project include welders, furniture makers, tailors, aluminium fabricators, shoe manufacturers, wood processors and so on,” she added.