Amend Investment Promotion Agency Law instead of creating Bureau of MSME, ENetSuD advises KWSG

The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), an anti-corruption Civil Society Organization, has advised the executive and the legislative arms of the Kwara State Government (KWSG) to step down the idea of creating a new Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) through a new executive bill proposed by the Governor and speedily receiving legislative action at the Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA).

The anti-corruption body’s advise was contained in a statement on Sunday in Ilorin by its Press Secretary, Saeed Tijjani.

The statement explained that the MSME bill was submitted by the Governor to the KWHA on 14th December 2021 and passed first and second readings on 15th December 2021 and 4th January, 2022 respectively. The KWHA has called for a public hearing on the bill scheduled for 31st January, 2022.

ENetSuD alternatively advised the government to rather look into a possible amendment of the Kwara State Investment Promotion Agency (KWIPA) Law 2020, which was made by the present administration of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and passed by the KWHA on 4th November 2020.

ENetSuD recalls that KWIPA was saddled with the responsibility of initiating, promoting, facilitating, coordinating and creating a conducive environment for investments and development in the state”.

According to a statement released by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye during the Governor’s assent to the KWIPA bill on 18th November 2020, KWIPA will “coordinate and monitor all investment activities; advice and assist the government in creating an attractive and competitive climate for business that will lead to robust economic activities in the state.

It will also source on behalf of the government, finance for investment from multilateral and bilateral development partners as well as private investors, both domestic and foreign through public-private partnerships and other financial arrangements, and where appropriate, act as lead negotiator in transactions with private investors that ensure the needs of the state and those of its citizens are well represented.”

The CPS further said that KWIPA would also “articulate clear growth and development strategies for providing needed support and appropriate incentives to grow the local private sector and enlarge the economic base of the state in line with the priorities of the state; and oversee various investment models including greenfield, brownfield, public-private partnership, concessions, build, operate and transfer.”

While the reasoning of the government behind the proposed creation of another MSME agency is to promote entrepreneurship in the state, we strongly believe that the functions of the proposed MSME agency can be appropriately and effectively captured in and handled by the already-existing KWIPA rather than creating a new agency, especially as MSME is under the scope of investment promotion.

ENetSuD cautioned the state government against the formation of new agencies for purposes that can be catered for by existing agencies in the state so as to avoid waste of taxpayers money on overhead, recurrent and other expenditures associated with the operation of many agencies.

The body noted that quality service delivery is not a function of the number of agencies in the state, but a function of how effective the existing agencies are.

ENetSuD, therefore, urged the KWHA to decline the passage of the MSME bill and make necessary amendments to the already-existing KWIPA law to expand its function and accommodate issues related to entrepreneurship.

Saeed Tijjani,
Press Secretary,
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD),
30th January, 2022

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