Traders and businesses in Edo State have been tasked to adopt technology solutions in enhancing their businesses in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so that they can sustain the state’s economy and protect their customer base.
Head of the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, said this during a meeting organised by the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA) in Benin City, to assess avenues to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on businesses in the state. The planning committee for the 2020 Edo Trade Fair was also inaugurated at the event.
According to him, “There is the need to work together to ensure that we defeat COVID-19 pandemic. We must all support the government in its efforts to make the state a preferred destination for businesses and investors.
“In Edo State, we are quite lucky because we have a forward-thinking governor. When we had the first case of COVID-19 in Edo State in March, we did not carry out a total lockdown. This was because, as a government, we realised that there was no amount of palliatives that could adequately cater for the economic needs of the people. So, we were more concerned about how to make our people survive in the face of the pandemic.”
He tasked the business community to collaborate with the state government to tackle COVID-19 in the state using technology, noting that businesses that fail to adapt to technology will face difficulties in the nearest future.
President of BENCCIMA, Mrs. H.E. Atekha-Odemwigie, thanked Governor Obaseki for his support for businesses in the state, noting that he has placed the state on the path of progress.
Manager of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL MFB), Benin Office, Mr Chima Okenwa, said the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled many businesses in the country, noting that the immediate and future effects of COVID-19 could be mitigated by injecting finance into the businesses and families of the business owners.