By Femi Adi ,Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor , Malam Nasir El-Rufai has reiterated the need to support Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) and its importance to Nigeria’s Economy.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 41st Kaduna International Trade Fair on Sunday , the Governor said this informs why his administration through the Kaduna start – ups and Entrepreneurship Programme (KADSTEP) is engaging over 4,000 young men and women in the state to pursue their dreams of productive enterprise development initiative.
The Governor ,who was represented by Mr. Idris Samaila Nyam ,the Commissioner ,Ministry of Business Innovation and Technology further said the state did embark on training empowerment programmes for women and youth in any of the three segment of production, processing and marketing in agriculture, dairy and poultry.
While stating that this was done in collaboration with International Development Association (IDA)Banks towards the course of Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) ,he maintained that his administration , is committed to the growth of Small Scale Enterprises.
“This is practically demonstrated by construction of a Business Support Centre which was recently handed over to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria(SMEDAN). This is in effort to support the growth of Small and Medium enterprises.
“We have also automated the process of our Business Premises Registration in Kaduna state as part of our strategies on improving ease of doing business. Several factories have also been put in place these include Olarms Integrated Poultry Farms, Tomatoes Jos, Arla Dairy Farms in Damau.”
He however ,observed that it would not be out of place to say that this year’s trade fair has indeed been used as effective, efficient avenue for increasing awareness and introduction of new products among Small and Medium Entrepreneurs and has indeed been an asset for exchange of goods and services.
“This years’ trade fair has again made a statement as the impact cannot be overemphasized, since it plays a vital role in the overall economic, social and industrial development of our state / national economy.
” There is therefore no doubt that Small and Medium Scale enterprises have benefited in their participation at this year’s fair.”
Meanwhile he said , “it is with immense gratitude that I stand before you today on this epoch making occasion; the closing ceremony of the 41st Kaduna international trade fair.
“The popular saying that everything that has beginning must surely have an end has proven itself true in our gathering today as the nine days event is being brought to an end today in grand style.”
The Governor ,who congratulated Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) for a successful and well organized trade fair , commended the leadership of KADCCIMA on the choice of this year’s theme; UNLOCKING NIGERIA’S ECONOMIC POTENTIALS THROUGH REGIONAL INTERGRATION.
” This is apt and has revealed that KADCCIMA is making deliberate attempt to compliment the effort of the States and Federal Government in fostering regional integration. ” he added . However , he explained why the State government made deliberate efforts to ensure peaceful co- existence in the state with the creation of the Kaduna Peace Commission and Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs noting that peace is cardinal to development.
He also stated; ” The Kaduna State Government takes seriously its obligation to encourage enterprise. That is why we have taken action to reform our processes to enable our institutions to be enablers and facilitators of business.
“These efforts have been recognised in the most recent World Bank Doing Business Report which ranked Kaduna as the number one place for doing business in Nigeria. It is a ranking that many investors can testify to and we intend to an attractive home for business and investors.” Meanwhile, he acknowledged that with a vibrant, highly industrious man power, Kaduna state is fertile ground for investment especially in Agriculture and Agro allied ventures.
“The state is blessed with abundant mineral resources such as Molbite, Aquamarine, Sapphires and Gold. Cash crops grown in the state include but not limited to; cotton, groundnut, tobacco, sugarcane, ginger chillies, shear nut and soybean
“It is on this note that I call on all prospective investors, tourists to feel free to explore our economic and tourism potentials and invest in Kaduna state beyond the duration of the trade fair.”
He commended all stake holders, partners, exhibitors within and from outside the country, media and all participant who contributed in one way or the other in making this event a huge success.