The Kwara State Government has reiterated its commitment to create a business friendly environment for economic growth and development in the state.
The Chairman, Kwara State Ease of Doing Business Council, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Council.
The two-day meeting was held between the Council as well as formal and informal organised private sectors.
Stakeholders at the meeting included Non Academic Staff Union, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria, National Institute of Public Relations, Shippers Association of Nigeria and Chartered Institute Taxation of Nigeria among others.
Members of Association of Mobile Money and Banks of Nigeria, Marketers Association of Nigeria, Tailors Association of Nigeria, Plumbers Association of Nigeria, Ifesowapo Kwara Farmers Association, Kwara State Artisans Congress, Kwara Professional Artisans in Nigeria, Rice Mailers Association of Nigeria, Video, Photo Association of Nigeria among others were also in attendance.
Mrs Oluwole, who is also the Kwara State Head of Service, said the meeting was organized to harvest the opinions of relevant stakeholders with a view to charting the way forward.
“We cannot just sit at the Council level and make recommendations when we don’t exactly what it is. They know better and that is why we invited the major stakeholders so that we can now from here with what we have harvested make Kwara State investment friendly state,” she said.
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“This is an involving process that deserves engagement of traders, private and public sectors, levels of governance, captain of industries. The Passion, foresight and focus of His Excellency, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will make things different this time around. The Governor has given us the marching order. He has given us the benchmark. He has given us the marching order to change the ranking of Kwara State on ease of doing business,” Oluwole noted.
Reacting to some of the challenges raised by the stakeholders, she said “we are going to look at the issues raised and address them accordingly. We will start from where we get it wrong because we must know how we get here so that we can move forward. Certainly, we are going map out strategies that will that will help in addressing issues raised.”
Also speaking, the Special Assistant to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Geographical Information System, Shittu AbdulMutolib, said the exercise gives the Council clearer insights into other issues that may not have been earlier identified.
“We need to dialogue with those who are actually in the business climate to understand where we can help them grow their businesses. We can not sit down in the back and propose policies and recommendations where we don’t actually know where exactly we can help. So, today’s meeting will give us an insight in going forward and make things better for everybody”, he said.
In his remark, the Secretary of the Council, Abdullah Abdulmajeed, said the constitution of the Council was part of avow commitment of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to ensure that investment climate and ease of doing business environment in the state receive the boost in line with the Federal Government reform of business climate in the country.
He said the Council has the mandate of ensuring that small and medium enterprises are assisted to be able to do well.
He noted that the public sectors engagement of critical stakeholders was to examine their views so that government can carry them along in the scheme of things.
“One of the things which is of highest point of this programme is that more than 50 percent of speakers without prodding were commending the efforts of the good works of the administration of His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. It is a wonderful one and we are fulfilled.
A lot of people so much about the rate at which the infrastructural development has received a boost”.
Stakeholders at the meeting, appreciated the state government for creating an avenue for them to bear their views on issues of paramount importance to economic development in the state.
They however emphasized the need for the government to address the problem of insecurity especially farmers herders clash with a view to allaying the fear of investors in agricultural sector.
They implored government to involve relevant stakeholders in policy formulation and implementation.
Stakeholders also urged government to address the problem of infrastructural deficit and ensure easy access to loan as a way of encouraging businesses to grow.