1.1 Background to the Study
Nigerian government has over the years demonstrated concerted efforts towards the development of entrepreneurship and the nation’s economy. These efforts have been displayed via various policy actions at various periods and in various forms in the political and economic history of the nation. The historical under-pining of government policies towards entrepreneurial development in Nigeria can be traced according to Ofoegbu (2013) to the early post independence Nigeria when the government realized the need to empower indigenous entrepreneurs to own and manage business enterprise in the country and reduce foreign domination of the nations’ economy. As a mark off, government introduced the indigenization policy which was aimed at transpiring the ownership and management of wither to various foreign and multinational companies from the foreigners to indigenous Nigerians and at the same time, promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among Nigerians for more economic independence and development (Nwankwo, 2014).
In 1973, a more pragmatic effort was demonstrated by the government through the establishment of the Nigerian Bank for commerce and industry (NBCI) which was charged with funds lofty responsibilities of providing adequate funds for short and long term financing of entrepreneurial ventures, promoting entrepreneurial skills and maintaining favourable environment for entrepreneurship to boom among others (Nwafor and Ude, 2015). In their words, the bank was charged with various responsibilities ranging from the provision of equity and loanable funds to indigenous persons, institutions and organization for medium-and long term investment in industry-commerce and entrepreneurship. The bank therefore supported industrial, agro-based commercial and service entrepreneurships by providing them equity and loan services feasibility studies, management consultancy among others.
Within the same period, government also channeled policy efforts towards the area of import substitution and export promotion (Ede, 2016). In his view, the export promotion and import substitution policies of government were geared towards promoting local production of goods, banning the importation of goods that are locally manufactured as a way of promoting local entrepreneurship and promoting domestic market. In view of this policy effort, government in 1977 introduced the Nigerian enterprises promotion Act which classified enterprises in Nigeria into three categories-those that most be wholly owned by Nigerians, those Nigerians where to have at least 10% of shares, and those which Nigerians were to below 60%. This policy motivated the spirit of entrepreneurship among Nigerians as at that time (Nwafor and Ude, 2015).
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GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN EBONYI STATE: A STUDY OF RELOCATION POLICY OF ABAKALIKI RICE MILL