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Create room for SMEs growth than employing youths to doing nothing for govt, expert tells Obaseki

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Leading Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) analyst and youths motivational speaker, Dr. Emma Osahon has challenged the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to think out of the basket and put in motion, infrastructures and enabling facilities that will encourage massive youths involvements in taking up SMEs development in the state so as to become creators of wealth than mere salary earners.

In an interview with Business Hilights Correspondent in Benin, Dr. Osahon said “Time has gone when governments just call people together and share states hard earned fund in the name of employment to be doing nothing.”

Continuing, he said “Yes, that was part of his electoral promises, but I think he can go a step further by changing the strategy by giving out seed loans to the youths after training them in several business and technical skills either in the state or even overseas”.

It would be recalled that the Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki has set up a modality for the employment of 10,000 persons in the first phase of his 200,000 job promise, in fulfillment of his electioneering campaign.

The government is also working to establish an electronic platform that will collect revenue by means of Point of Service (POS) or revenue scratch cards for those who do not have ATM cards.

It was learnt that governor Godwin Obaseki had directed heads  of local government administration in the state to forward names of contractors initially contracted as revenue collectors to government house to jumpstart the job scheme.

A government statement Monday said the submission of the contractors’ names was in furtherance of government’s avowed commitment to streamline tax collection in the state.

The statement said government’s decision followed Obaseki’s meeting with stakeholders at government house on Friday.

But addressing newsmen after the meeting, Chairman of Edo State Internal Revenue Service, Chief Oseni Elamah, said the concerned contractors are those previously selected to collect revenue on behalf of the local governments.

Chief Elema disclosed that the concerned contractors are also required to supply the names of their staff, phone numbers and passport photographs respectively adding that, “this is with a view to capturing their details in our employment database”.

Continuing, he said, “in addition to this, the MDs of all those that were engaged as consultants or contractors have also been directed to supply the names of those people that were involved, the staff they used, their numbers and their photographs so that we can consider them for employment under the first 10,000 youths’ employment programme that the government is already working on.”

To complete this process, Elamah noted that a portal will be opened where their biometrics will be captured and they will be given first offer under the new programme as a result of experience which they must have gained in their previous assignment of manually collecting revenue, which they were given.


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