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Gov AbdulRazaq Pledges More Support For SMEs In Kwara

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday said the administration will continue to support small and medium scale businesses to deepen economic growth and fight poverty.

Fidel Info reports that He said Nigeria’s trade and commerce have continued to suffer limited growth because the country consumes more than what it produces, adding that this largely accounts for the economic hardship in many households.

He said despite the fact that the oil and gas industry has been a catalyst of economic success in the country, there are a few instances of disbenefits in Nigeria’s reliance on the product, urging government at all levels as well the citizens to be productive rather than always consuming.   

Speaking in Ilorin at the opening of the 9th Kwara Joint Trade Fair 2022, the Governor said the event came at a time that government and private sector players should deepen their collaboration for growth.

“The timing and importance of this year’s event is unique because it comes at a time when all hands must be on deck to jointly improve the business climate in a sustainable way,” he said, while declaring open the 9th Kwara Joint Trade Fair.

Themed “Harmony through Commerce”, the Fair was jointly organised by the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA), the Kwara State government, and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME).

“​Undeniably, our oil and gas industry has contributed and assisted Nigeria’s economic prosperity and growth. Nevertheless, this has come with its own downsides, including undue consumerism and unhealthy fixation on white collar jobs. This fixation caused millions of people to abandon trade and commerce in search of such jobs,” the Governor added.

“The consequences have been grave for not just the country but also to sustainable economic development and standard of living of many families. Agrarian communities and mostly commercial centers built on trade have mostly been deserted today. Our agrarian economy collapsed with the oil boom of the 1970s. The rest of history.”

Represented by the Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu, AbdulRazaq called for a change of orientation among Nigerians and urged them to continue to make efforts to grow the economy through trade, agro-processing, tourism, and innovation.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to de-emphasise Nigeria’s reliance on oil and rebuild the economy through massive investments in infrastructure in road and rail, agribusiness, and commerce, among others.

He said the Federal government’s efforts align with his administration’s support for the SMEs and the general human capital development in the state.

“This is also our focus in Kwara as we make concerted efforts to support small and medium enterprises, agribusiness, innovation, and general human capital development that will raise a new generation of competent manpower for the job of now and of tomorrow, ” he said.

“​Our decision to support businesses and fund various job-creating projects like the Garment Factory, Visual Arts Centre, Film Factory, International Conference Centre, Shea Butter Factory, agroprocessing zone, as well as opening up key agrarian areas with roads while easing the business climate is geared towards this goal. It is the same reason we have committed to yearly support of this Trade Fair and other private sector led initiatives.

“The State Government has also established different structures and projects to identify the development in trade and investments and lawful exploration of our abundant mineral resources. Such organizations are the restructured Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology, Kwara Investment Promotion Agency, Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP), reconstituted Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and the newly structured Ministry of Economic Planning, Research and Statistics.”

He commended the leaderships of KWACCIMA and other relevant bodies for their complementary roles in driving the SMEs and for encouraging young entrepreneurs to thrive.

The event was well-attended by dignitaries from far and near, including cabinet members, captains of industry, representative of the state Head of Service Alhaji Tunde Salami, Permanent Secretaries, CEO KAM Holdings and Chairman of the occasion Dr. Kamoru Ibitoye Yusuf; Coordinator of Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone Dr. Abbey Onas, and KWACCIMA President Alhaji Ayodimeji Olalekan Fatai, State Chairman of NASME, Arc. Zakirudeen Oladotun, representative of the Emir of Ilorin and Alangua Owode-oja Alhaji Kayode Sidiq, representative of the Chairman Governing Council of NAFDAC Dr. Muftau Yahya, leaders of marketers’ associations, and several product exhibitors among others.

State Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology, Ibrahim Akaje, for his part, said the fair witnessed an upsurge in the number of participants, stakeholders and patronage, who came from within and outside the country.

He said the government was encouraged by the reports it got from past participants on the impacts of the trade fair on their goods and services.

Dr. Onas, who was the guest of honor at the occasion, urged the administration to continue to play its best part to encourage the business community, noting that the state has what it takes to woo local and foreign investors to grow its economy.

He thanked the Governor, KWACCIMA and the people of the state for their hospitality and for hosting a colorful Trade Fair, expressing delight that he was always glad to visit the state.

KWACCIMA President Alhaji Ayodimeji Olalekan Fatai, described the gathering as a place where people come not only to sell their products but to also network their businesses through exchange of ideas with their counterparts.

He said the turnout of participants in this year’s edition has been very encouraging and hoped that the size will be multiplied before the end of the programme,  calling on the government to hasten action on the establishment of industrial parks in the state to improve MSME activities.

He also appealed to the government to increase infrastructural development in some of the incubation centers in the state to encourage young entrepreneurs to develop their ideas.

State Chairman for NASME, Arc. Zakirudeen Oladotun, in his remarks, said the MSME contributes more than 25 percent to GDP, and more than 65 percent to employment in the country, saying this figure cannot be overemphasized.

At least 170 SMEs and 60 large scale businesses are participating in the Fair that will last till 20th of December this year.

Governance

Kwara’s AbdulRazaq Clinches Vanguard Newspapers’ Governor Of The Year 2022

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday night received the Vanguard Newspapers’ Governor of the Year 2022 Award.

Fidel Info reports that the award was presented in Lagos at Eko Hotel and Suites Victoria Island.

Commended for his institutional reforms in education and healthcare reforms, safety net programmes, infrastructural development, as well as his “purposeful leadership” that has seen people of the state benefit from dividends of democracy, the Governor won the honour alongside his colleague-Governors from Oyo, Delta, Borno, and Akwa Ibom States.

The award was presented to the Governor by former Governors Olusegun Osoba (Ogun) and Obong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom).

The award also had other categories, which honored great Nigerians from across all walks of life.

Businessman Aliko Dangote won the Vanguard’s Personality of the Year Award.

On the Governor’s entourage were prominent Kwarans and leading members of the ruling APC, including Senators Lola Ashiru and Suleiman Sadiq Umar; House of Representatives members Raheem Olawuyi and Tijani Ismail; senatorial candidate for Kwara Central Turaki Salihu Mustapha; Mohammed Dele Belgore SAN; LUBCON Chairman Alhaji Jani Ibrahim; and Chief Femi Sani.

Equally on his entourage are APC House of Representatives candidates Ahmed Yinka Aluko, Mukhtar Shagaya, Ahmed Saba; and Alhaji Raheem Adedoyin, Otunba Ademola Adeoyin, among others.

The Governor has received several awards and recognitions for his outstanding performance since taking over in 2019.

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Governance

Gov AbdulRazaq Pledges Support For Kwara Young Talent Who Built Drone

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Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Tuesday met with a Kwara young talent, Aliyu Musa, who built an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), also known as drone.


Fidel Info
reports that the meeting held at the Government House, Ilorin, in the presence of the Governor’s Special Assistant on Creative Industries, Abdulgafar Ahmed (Cute Abiola).

Musa, a secondary school graduate, used his skillset and resources at his disposal to build drones.

He had earlier met with the governor’s aide at Kwara State Stadium, Ilorin, where he flew two drones he built by himself to the amazement and cheering of observers.

In the meeting with the Governor, Musa was commended for his efforts and putting his talent to good use.

“What you have done is very commendable. Our administration recognises young people like you who make good use of their skills. That is why we continue to invest heavily in supporting youths in the state.

“Most of our projects and policies are targeted at the youths. We want to add value to their lives so that they can contribute to state and national development. We are building the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, Sugar Film Studio. All these are investments for the young people. We will continue to provide the enabling environment and right incentives for our youths to thrive in technology, entrepreneurship, education, and others,” the Governor said.

AbdulRazaq also committed to funding Musa’s education in order to hone his skills.

He would also be supported to secure the licence that will aid his talent.

The Governor had in the past similarly supported some young Kwarans who built and designed a plane.

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Governance

Again, LG Workers, SUBEB To Receive 1 Billion Salary Arrears From #2.5Billion Sure-P Refund

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The Kwara State Government is again set to  offset another part of the outstanding debt inherited from the past administration from another  refund of Sure-P on behalf of the 16 Local Government Councils in the State.

Fidel Info reports thatThe Honourable Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, Hon Lafia Aliyu Kora-Sabi disclosed that on the receipt of the refund, meeting was held with relevant Stakeholders  for appropriation and as well disbursements.

The Honourable Commissioner further disclosed that the Sum of One Billion was set aside for the payment  of outstanding arrears as done during the last tranche,Ex-Council Political Office holders (1999-2016) as well as pension and gratuity were considered.

Also some amount was set aside for Projects execution for all the 16 Local Government Councils.

It would be recalled that a similar meeting was also held among the Stakeholders when the first tranche of 3.5Billion was received.

According to the Honourable Commissioner, this gesture is a further demonstration of the transparency of the present administration under the leadership of His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq non-interference with funds meant for Local Government Administration in the State.

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