Kwara Will Open To Foreign Investors In Digital Economy Soonest

Fix Owa-Onire-Owu Water Falls Road, Community Begs Kwara Govt

Kwara State governor,  AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is setting a new standard in the state’s  economy, focusing on information communication technology (ICT), education, healthcare, and infrastructure development. The Ilorin Innovation Hub will create an enabling environment for networking among business owners, investors, and innovators and attracts  experts from different sectors across Nigeria.

Through His Excellency’s commitment towards moving Kwara from a civil servant state to a digital economy state by taping the resourcefulness of the youth to turn the state around from an analogue state to a digital state, recently the state celebrated the first graduation ceremony for the 3MTT cohort (1) and the launching of Kwara Digital Economy Platform showing the commitment of Governor AbdulRazaq in upgrading the state and the empowerment of the youth. Soonest, Kwara State will open to foreign investors in the digital economy and transform the state into a global community.

 

Industrial Park

    Kwara State governor is a visionary leader who wants growth and development for the state and his people. He has created a site for industrial hub. The industrial hub will serve as a place set aside for investors to come and establish their companies for the production of their commodities. Happily, many investors like BUA, CNG conversion plant and a host of others have shown interest in production at the park. According to His Excellency, the park will be a catalyst for development in the state when occupied and job opportunities will be open to the Kwara youth.

 

 Kwara Visual Art Studio

This is another legacy of Governor  AbdulRazaq to show his love for the arts. This will be one of the greatest in West Africa to accommodate contemporary film and arts studios and a gallery where not only the artworks of the famous artists will be displayed but including those of the upcoming artists. The visual arts centre has been described as a centre that will attract professionals in the creative and entertainment industry to Kwara from all over the world. It is a museum of visual and cinematic art, which will give room for a wide range of job opportunities for the youth. When operational, the Visual Arts Centre will bridge the long queues at the Lagos Art Centre and the cost of going to other African nations to produce films. His Excellency will use his great personality to invite the King of Morocco and UAE who have a passion for African arts to witness the launching of the centre.

Kwara State Social Investment Programme Agency (KWASSIPA)

Before Governor AbdulRazaq came on board poverty index of the Kwara State by the World Bank stood at 30.2 percent, but as of August 2022, the poverty index dropped to 20.4 percent,  justifying the hard work of the governor in eradicating  poverty in the state. 

In December 2019, KWASSIP a replica of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) was established by our visionary governor to fight poverty and to make Kwarans financially inclusive. It should be noted that before His Excellency came on board, the people of Kwara were in abject poverty and because of his love for his people and the youth,  the agency was created to assist Kwarans financially. 

On 24th August 2019, a bill was forwarded to the Kwara State House of Assembly to establish the agency and the bill was debated and passed into law by the Kwara State House of Assembly to replicate the programmes of the federal government NSIP in the state to impact positively on the lives of the poor, vulnerable, unemployed and to assist those at the bottom of the financial pyramid. 

Among the programmes are; the Kwara Home-Grown School Feeding Program (KWHGSFP), Kwara State Government Enterprise and Empowermen Programme (KWSGEEP), Kwara Conditional Cash Transfer (KWCCT), and Job Creation and Youth Employyment (K-POWER). All these are to create jobs and give financial assistance to women and youth, artisans, old people and school children across all the 16 LGAS. During the COVID- 19  lockdown about 13,195 youths enrolled for online graphics design training for three months. 

Kwara is the king of the States in Nigeria now that the Federal Government has made it compulsory for all the states,  including the FCT to replicate NSIPA in their states by passing a bill to law for the creation of State Social Investment Programme Agency (SSIPA). All other states including FCT are begging for a copy of the Kwara Bill to establish theirs. Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is a man worthy of emulation nationally and internationally.

 

Kwara International Conference Centre  

The Kwara International Conference Centre is another laudable project of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq which is going to be a World-class Conference Centre for both public and private conferences in West Africa. This one will also create job opportunities for Kwara youths who would occupy various working positions in the centre.    

 

* Smart City  

Smart City is another laudable project of His Excellency that when completed will bring about employment opportunity and provision of infrastructural facilities like modern schools, modern hospitals, modern markets, residential buildings, and a host of other social amenities. No doubt, more job opportunities will be opened for the youth.    

 

*Kwara Garment Factory

Kwara Garment Factory is a key vision of the state government that has 570 sewing machines already installed aiming at producing 10,000 polo shirts per 8 hours. Also installed is a 9-colour 12-hand embroidery machine capable of 1,000 stitches per hour and 6-colour, 9-hand embroidery machine that are currently undergoing pre-commissioning test. Many youths have been employed to start working in the factory presently and many more later as 2,000 direct jobs will be created. The factory was established to grow the state’s economy as it will also serve as a training centre for both the state and national beneficiaries of K-power and N-power who may wish to acquire sewing skills. 

 

*The role of the state government in youth empowerment

 

Youth Empowerment is a process of involving youth in decision-making and encouraging them to take charge of their future by addressing their situation. Governor AbdulRazaq is committed to continuous building of youths’ capacity for them to flourish in life. For instance, in Nigeria, Kwara has the youngest House of Assembly member representing Owode-Onire Constituency, Hon. Rukayat Shittu who is about 26 years old;  and another Kwara youngest commissioner,  Miss Nafisat Musa Buge, about the same age among other young political appointees who are doing marvelously well in their various areas. In other words, about 70% of the political appointees under AbdulRazaq’s administration are youths.    

 

The Role of State Government in Job Creation

 In 2019, shortly before Governor AbdulRazaq came on board, unqualified teachers were employed to teach in  public schools but upon his assumption of office, he introduced an online job application. No fewer than 5,000 teachers were employed  through online applications as against the former practice where unqualified people were employed to teach in public schools . He was able to employ graduates with first class degrees in various subjects without depending on any individual politicians. Thank God! 

Kwara pupils/students are representing Nigeria internationally in debate and writing competitions. Many women and youths were employed to serve as vendors in the school feeding programme and many more youths will be employed as soon as the programme starts again.  Farmers also benefited as suppliers of food items to feed the pupils.

Tader Moni, Market Moni, and Farmer Moni were also taken care of by His Excellency as over 1,000 beneficiaries received N50,000 each as ‘owo isowo’ to expand their businesses. The aged/elderly people were not left out in the governor’s kind gesture, they were given a feeding allowance of N6,000/N3,000 monthly for 12 months as is done at the federal level and 10,000 beneficiaries were targeted.  The disbursement of N20,000 each to about 30,000 petty traders started when His Excellency came on board. He also approved the disbursement of the N200m grant to 4000 artisans. 

The Kwapreneur is a programme aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs in the state to get access to funding and training to kick-start their businesses and also expand the existing ones. 

KWAPRENEUR 4.0: Many young entrepreneurs benefited from 4.0 Kwapreneur by getting N1.5 million to B3 million provided for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises to upgrade their businesses. 

* Dr Rabiat  Alabere, special assistant/ focal person on NSIP in Kwara State presented this paper during a meeting with the participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 46 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) Kuru, Jos, held at the Governor’s Office, Ilorin.

 

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