The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has charged the trainees for the Bello-Kogi Enterprise Empowerment Project (BELLO-KEEP) to be agent of change for the economic landscape of Kogi State.
The governor gave the charge at the opening ceremony of One-Day Training, organised for the Electronic Data Capturing Agents for BELLO-KEEP on Wednesday in Lokoja.
Bello, who declared the training open equally tasked the trainees to discharge their duty with high sense of commitment responsibility.
The governor, who was represented by the Hon. Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mukadamu Idris Asiwaju, said the training was for the benefits of the vulnerable citizens and that of the state to enhance proper planning.
Asiwaju, who doubles as the Chairman, Kogi Covid-19 Accelerated Recovery Stimulus (Kogi-CARES) committee, noted that the program was designed as a Result Area 3 of the CARES programme to rescue Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) across the state.
”We need to capture data to know the kind of business the people are doing. Data is our oil; without data we cannot plan.
”By the time we get this data, it will be easier to plan for the people of Kogi especially the vulnerable in alleviating the negative impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on their wellbeing”, he said.
In his remark, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Project, Hon. Abdulkareem Suleiman Onyekehi, thanked the Governor for initiating the programme in response to the adverse effect of Covid-19 on SMEs in Kogi State.
Onyekehi noted that the program would be the first of its kind in Kogi State considering the cutting-edge technology that will be deployed in the management of the program across the entire circle, from data capturing through the verification to white listing, disbursement and recovery.
He said “the program wills be implemented in line with global best practice, and in total compliance with the world bank guidelines for transparency and accountability”.
He further charged the trainees to discharge their duty with utmost honesty, stressing that “all the successful agents were selected on trust.
“Your honesty and dedication to service are expected to be displayed in your best capacity.
“You all have been entrusted with a huge responsibility and are therefore expected to uphold utmost honesty in discharge of your duty as any act of violation of the program guidelines by any agent will not be tolerated and the offender may be penalized by the appropriate authority”.
Onyekehi commended the technical partner: the Bank of Industry (BOI) for providing the technology backbone to drive the programme without hitches.
Other dignitaries at the occasion include: Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Hon. Olofu Gabriel; the State SMEs Secretary, Alhaji Yakubu Muhammed; the Programme Officer for the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, Hajia Karibo Khadijat; Unit Head of Kogi GEEP Mr. Lekan Onijingin and other stakeholders of Kogi Social Investment Programme.