About two thousand artisans are to be trained and provided with loan by the Imo State Government under the first phase of its empowerment programme to help scale up their businesses.
The Commissioner for Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition, Mr. Noble Atulegwu, made this known during an inspection tour of Naze Industrial Cluster and Avu Mechanic Village in Owerri West Local Government Area.
Mr. Atulegwu also announced that government would connect the two artisans’ clusters to the national grid and make roads leading to the areas more accessible to facilitate their operations.
Mr. Atulegwu hinted that plans were on to ensure that artisans who were operating within the state capital were relocated to the sites provided for them to ensure sanity within Owerri metropolis.
The Commissioner explained that government would accord priority to skill acquisition to reduce unemployment and vowed to create enabling environment for small businesses to grow.
The Chairman of artisans in Naze Industrial Cluster, Mr. Reginald Obi, noted that his members built lock up stalls in the area through self help and appealed to government to provide basic facilities to enable them to commence operations.
Radio Nigeria observed that the Naze Industrial Cluster built about three years ago had been left to dilapidate due to absence of basic infrastructure.