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Coalition seeks establishment of ‘business clusters’ in Kwara

The Kwara State Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (KWACOBPA) has implored the state government under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to urgently establish ‘Business Clusters’ in the state to attract both local and foreign agencies to invest.

According to coalition, Industrial and Business Clusters play major roles in the revitalization of business environment, transfer of modern technologies, and the general industrial growth and development of any state.

The coalition made the call during a virtual launch and unveiling of Kwara State business agenda, with the participation of business owners, both within and outside the country.

The coalition recommended the establishment of a standard industrial park, “that will accommodate about 100 industries laid out with access roads, railway line, high power electricity/ gas supply, and water supply”.

In a presentation of the findings of a 2018 research on five priority issues critical for growth and development of business environment in the state, the Coalition led by Ahmed Raji (Dr), identified highway and bank robberies as top security challenges against business climate.

“To enable detailed analysis of issues and for the purpose of developing evidence-based Business Agenda, KWACOBPA, with the support of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Washington D.C, commissioned a research on the priority issues across the three Senatorial districts of Kwara State.

“If the recommendations of the revised Business Agenda are implemented by the Kwara State government, the private sector will become very vibrant and competitive with a significant strengthening of capacity to improve the economic well-being of the citizenry, boost commercial activities and increase in internally generated revenue for the development of the state,” said Raji, the KWACOBPA Chairman in Kwara State.

However, the research findings, presented on behalf of the coalition by Oladeji Ebunlomo, suggested the installation of 70 solar power circuits at every business area, purchase of additional armoured personnel tanks and 120 security patrol vans which should be equipped with vehicular radio communication system.

The coalition therefore called for revival of the state joint security patrol outfit, codenamed Operation Harmony, to combat security challenges, as well as provision of job opportunities. It also called on the state government to see to reconstruction or completion of Ajase-Ipo-Offa, Share-Lafiagi, Kaiama-Kishi, Omu Aran-Oro Ago and Alapa-Igbeti roads to encourage the business environment.

Similarly, it recommended that government should set up dump sites in major cities in the state, saying that private entities should be made to manage it in order to make it lucrative, “in form of commercialization”.

The coalition identified tourist centres such as Owu Water Fall, Arandun Warm Spring, Imoleboja Rock Centre, and Asa Dam Inland bridge among others, noting that lack of infrastructural facility such as potable water, road and electricity had negatively affected tourism growth in the state.

The association then advised the state government to collaborate with other stakeholders like the Ministries of Information, Works and Housing as well as nationality tourism commission, saying that private organisation should be made to manage the tourist centres for effectiveness.

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