By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says that regular interface between the Federal Government and private sector is critical to the development of the economy, especially in creating employment.
Osinbajo made this submission when he received a delegation from the Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (KACCIMA) led by its President, Alhaji Dalhatu Abubakar
According to the vice president, continuous engagement between the public and private sectors is important.
“I have continued to emphasie that the private sector is the engine of the economy and will continue to see in what ways we can support the private sector.
“So, we need to be able to get private sector interest along with government to bring power to Kano, for instance.
“If we can bring substantial amount of investment in power to Kano, we can really make a difference. So, I am looking forward to working with you on power.”
Osinbajo said that anyone, who understood the history of business in Nigeria, could not, in any way, diminish the importance of the Kano business community.
“As a matter of fact, when we started the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), in engaging the partnership that will help us, Lagos and Kano had to be the two focal points for the implementation of our reform plans.
“We must establish a way of collaborating, where we look at specific measures on how to advance solutions to the numerous problems that are facing us.”
Osinbajo said he was encouraged by the report he received from the delegation on the progress made by rice millers in Kano State.
The vice president restated efforts being made by the Federal Government to further support agricultural production, including a collaboration with other partners using 12 dams across the country under the Transforming Irrigation Management Project.
Osinbajo urged the business community in the state to support the free education initiative of the state government as a way of building the future workforce for the industries that would be established.
“Everywhere businesses have thrived and succeeded, it has been accompanied by the drive of young people who have the requisite skills to do the necessary jobs.
“There is, therefore, the need for KACCIMA to support the free education initiative in Kano; even just the advocacy is important,” he said.
Earlier, Abubakar, who the delegation to welcome the vice president into the conference room with a birthday song, commended Osinbajo for his commitment to the achievement of successes under the ease of doing business initiative.
He described him as a “reliable partner,” of the President.
“Your excellent leadership qualities and commitment in making Nigeria a better country has been responsible for all the achievements that have been recorded under PEBEC,” he said.
Abubakar, who is also the Chairman, Alhamsad Rice Mill Limited, told State House correspondents that the visit was to meet with the vice president and intimate him of the challenges confronting KACCIMA.
He said that there were over 300 industries in Kano that had been abandoned, hence KACCIMA’s resolve to seek Federal Government’s intervention, especially on the issue of power supply and border closure.
“As we say, the revival of our industries is most important because if the Federal Government revives our industries, most of our youths can get work.
“We have a lot of industries—textile, plastic, oil mills, tannery, food and beverages – but now, we are trying to increase our rice production in Kano.
“The vice president welcomed us and he assured that he will make sure that he does something about; that he will set up a committee to this effect,’’ he said.
On his part, Umar Sani, Managing Director of Marshall Biscuits, Kano, said that the delegation was delighted and optimistic that the visit would yield positive results.
“So, we are more grateful; we are delighted; we are not going back to Kano with empty hands.
“As it is, we have the assurance of the vice president that a committee will be set up which means that something is going to happen immediately,’’ he said.