The President, Association of Agricultural and Industrial Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AIEN), Chukwu Wachukwu on Wednesday said the group has embraced Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) clusters to promote their businesses in each local government of the federation with a coordinating office to ensure that jobs trickle down to people in farming and selling of farm products.
This SMEs clusters, he added, will involve mainly farmers in all the states. This is to encourage farmers to excel in their field, stressing that there will be access to funding for all businesses through funding agencies the association will work with. All the businesses concerned will get their financial entitlements, promote their businesses, adding that the association will continually monitor to ensure the progress and loans collected are paid back.
Wanchukwu said the association intends to put between 25 and 500 entrepreneurs in one cluster so they could access the necessary infrastructure to enable them do their work.
He said: “The greatest challenge is access to funding, if we have one million entrepreneurs employing five people, we are already creating six million jobs. Any government agency saying they are creating jobs is just fooling itself. Job creation is for entrepreneurs; so the environment should be made easy for businesses to thrive so that jobs can be available.
“We need to help the government. It cannot do it alone; we should work with the funding agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, NEXIM, Development Banks.”