he Deputy Speaker, House of Representative, Rep. Benjamin Kalu has said the “sit-at-home’’ order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is killing the Southeast geopolitical zone and its businesses.
He disclosed this on Friday in Abuja when executives of the Nigerian Association of Small And Medium Enterprises (NASMEs) paid him a courtesy visit.
The NASME executives were led by Mr Abdulrashid Yerima, president of the association.
Kalu observed that the Southeast geopolitical zone loses between N10 billion and N13 billion in the transportation sector alone on every sit-at-home day weekly.
“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.