The Chairman, Kwara Coalition of Business and Professional Association, Chief Hezekiah Adediji has lamented the continued economic hardship in the country expressing that it bits hard on the business community and the entire Nigerians.
He stressed that it has been difficult for manufacturers, industrialists and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to break even talk-less of making profit.
He spoke during the 3rd annual general meeting of the Kwara Coalition of Business and Professional Association in Ilorin on Wednesday.
He called on the government to involve relevant stakeholders in policy formulation and implementation of their sectors.
He commended the Centre for International Private Enterprises, Washington DC for its technical and financial support to KWACOBPA stating that the group would continue to grow from strength to strength, while also adding that the group wil continue to engage in meaningful advocacy to achieve the task they had set for themselves.
He said the group assembled a team of resource persons from different associations to talk to them on trending issues that would be of tremendous help to their businesses. According to him, the topics include ‘basic financial accounting for SMEs, Prospect and
opportunities in Agriculture business and sustaining food securities in Nigeria.
Adediji said, “The economy is very harsh on the people now. Most of the things we are
seeing is not what we bargained, banks are harsh on people, there is no cash flow. Virtually everything is by the grace of God for business men to survive today.
“We have been clamoring for the government to realize that the economy does not rely on the civil servants. It lies on the generality of Nigeria. So every one of us must be part of it in order to move the economy forward. We should be part of the implementation and not that the people in the ministry will be the only ones to be involved in implementing the policies. Until the right people are included in the implementation of economic policies, nothing will be achieved. ‘The idea of Government is good. They will come with very good policies but who implements the policies? Implementation is very
important. Stakeholders should be involved in business policy initiation and implementation. This forum should get to the heart of the government. When there is a particular committee, the member should not be people who are not in the system. Relevant professionals should be involved.”
The Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperative, Mr, Babatunde Julius Agboola said the Kwara State Government had spent over N2.25bn to strengthen the capacity of the small and medium enterprises in the state since the inception of the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, adding that the state government had been making yearly budget of N500m towards the scheme.
Agboola also said the ministry is in good working relationship with federal agencies such as Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, Consumer Protection Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Standard Organisation of Nigeria among others.
The commissioner who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event reiterated government’s commitment to making the environment more conducive for business growth in the state.
He said, “Security, infrastructural developments, youth empowerments, diversification to agriculture, industrialization etc feature prominently in the state government shared prosperity agenda, this, the Government is frontally tackling headlong.”
“The spate of growth in the number of micro credit loan seekers in the state which includes viable cooperative groups, traders, artisans and farmers paved way for the creation of the Kwara State Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development, which, is also complementing the federal government’s effort at assisting entrepreneurial development in the state and in the country at large.”
“It is incontrovertible fact that in the past, the amiable governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has launched and
adopted many programmes aimed at the socio-economic and infrastructural development of the state into which huge capital is being committed. The Government has spent well over N2.25bn in strengthening the capacity of SME’s in the state since inception and deeply committed in this direction with yearly budget of N500m towards the scheme. ‘The One Stop – Investment Centre situated in my Ministry is primarily geared towards ease of doing business and delivering excellent services in Kwara State. This was confirmed by the recent rating of Kwara State as the second best state in Nigeria behind Lagos in the area of micro, small and medium enterprises development.”
He said “the state House of Assembly had challenged the business community as well as the private sector to come up with suggestions to move and drive the state economy to the desired haven” while also pledging the willingness of the government to support and attract investors into the state for a better Kwara.
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