Gov AbdulRazaq flags-off 8th Kwara Trade Fair KWACCIMA seeks permanent trade fair ground

By Mike Adeyemi

The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Tuesday officially declared open the 8th edition of Kwara trade fair, saying his administration is making deliberate investments in critical sectors of the state’s economy.

The governor stated this while unveiling this year’s trade fair organizes by the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA), held at the Kwara Stadium, Ilorin the state capital.

According to him, ‘this administration is making deliberate investments in critical infrastructure such as roads, innovation hub, visual arts centre, garment factory, among others, that would create more jobs and widen the state’s revenue base.’

“As a government, our most important agenda is to build a state that survives on enterprise with zero reliance on the monthly handouts from the centre. For this reason, we are investing in infrastructure and offering support to investors and businesses.

“In addition to our investments in the digital and attention economy through the innovation hub and the Dolby studio-fitted visual arts centre, we are also constructing an international conference centre in Ilorin,” AbdulRazaq said.

Continuing, ‘This is a two-in-one hospitality facility that would be the best of its kind in central Nigeria. We are doing this in partnership with the private sector.’

“The gold-standard facility will make Kwara a go-to place for tourism, resort and conferencing in Nigeria. This will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and attract better attention to the state.

“The theme of this trade fair, Trade Beyond Borders, aptly captures the mood of this time. As technology evolves and our world gets increasingly linked, the previous barriers against trade and human interactions are giving way.

“Channels of trade and exchange of goods as we knew it are also changing. Today, commodities and assets worth billions of naira are now sold to customers in the remotest corners of the world with just a click of the mouse. The time therefore calls for everyone to grab the opportunities that technology has offered to deepen trade.

“We know a few things bother you in the business community. I assure you that all obstacles to ease of doing business are being looked into. And, very soon, we will roll out comprehensive reforms to make doing business cheaper and stress-free in Kwara State. This will be contained in an Executive Order which contains specific measures in this regard.

“There is so much that any government can do without the support of the private sector. We therefore bank on your continuous support.

“I congratulate KWACCIMA and its affiliate bodies for this feat. I also commend the various government offices that worked with you. I thank our guests from outside of Kwara, while urging participants to make the best use of new partnerships and networks from this trade fair,” the governor stressed.

Earlier, the President of the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA), Olalekan Fatai Ayodimeji, said the Kwara’s gifted natural endowments and good prospects have positioned the state to tap into the opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area.

According to the seasoned accountant, ‘the theme for this year trade fair is apt at this time in view of the nation’s focus on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“Kwara State is strategically located at the centre of Nigeria with a population of about 3.2 million (2016) and now with an estimated 5 million inhabitants. With an estimated GDP of over 4.5 US Dollar, the state is blesses with arable land and solid mineral resources.

“The state is linked with roads leading to the north and southern parts of Nigeria. The Capital city, Ilorin, also has an international airport with capacity to host local, international and cargo flights.

“These combine with the prospect of an international border market in Chikanda, Baruten Local Government Area of the state, have positioned the state to tap into the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said.

Ayodimeji, however, commended the steps of the Governor to strengthen the relationship between the public and private sectors in the state, beseeched him to grant KWACCIMA request for a permanent Trade Fair ground to promote and enhance business growth in the state.

The opening ceremony was attended by top government functionaries and business leaders from within and outside Kwara, including Chairman of Lubcon Nig. Ltd., Alhaji Jani Ibrahim; representative of the Emir of Ilorin and Balogun Gambari of Ilorin, Alhaji Aliyu Adebayo; Oloro of Oro-Ago, Oba Johnson Dada; among other royal fathers.

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