Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 28 February 2016 | 4,545 times
The 37th edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair opened on Saturday in Kaduna.
In her good will message Hajia Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State Trade and Investment, stressed the need to diversify the economy from a mono product as a major priority of the Federal Government.
“Hence, for a country to attain sustainable growth and development, the economy has to be diversified in order to ensure job creation and increased investment inflow into key areas like mining, agriculture, manufacturing for enhanced and rapid industrialisation,” she said.
The minister emphasised government’s commitment and resolute in ensuring that the on-going reform programmes especially in the areas of trade, industry, power, agriculture and solid minerals sectors result in a vibrant private sector participation and increase efficiency in the national economy.
“As we confront the challenges ahead, I urge the entire private sector operators in Nigeria and their foreign counterparts to positively reciprocate these gestures by investing in the identified growth and employment generation sector of the economy,” she said.
In his key note address, Governor of Kaduna State Nasiru El-Rufai, represented by his Commissioner of Commerce, Balarabe Shehu, said this year’s theme is in line with the consistent vision of the State Government policy to revitalise and diversify the economy and at the same time expose non oil export products with a view to attract local and international investors.
“The State Government has proposed to develop modern markets across the state. In this regard, approval has been granted for the payment of compensation to property owners at Sabon Gari Market, Zaria, and as soon as arrangements are concluded payment will commence. We are also making effort to acquire some sites for the establishment of Industrial Parks in the State. Similarly, the State has expended substantial amount in the development of Kaduna Inland Dry Deport to ease clearance of goods in Kaduna and the North West Geopolitical Zone and to also serve as origin of the final destination,” he said.
El-Rufai hoped that the outcome of the 10 days interaction will lead to the development of concrete partnership machineries that will support the country's economic growth to make Kaduna great again.
In his welcome address, Dr Abdul-Alimi Bello President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), said that within six months, members of the organised private sector lost about N1.46 trillion occasioned by the stalled business activities due to inadequate supply of foreign exchange as a result of Federal Government policy on foreign exchange restriction.
He said the 37th edition of the trade fair, “as in the previous versions has witnessed an upsurge in the number of participants, stakeholders and patrons.”
The KADCCIMA boss said the theme of this year’s trade fair, “Promoting Solid Mineral Sector for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria” is to complement and support the genuine aspiration of the current government for a robust diversification of the national economy and for a reduction in over dependent on oil and gas and creation of jobs.
•Photo shows Hajia Aisha Abubakar.
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