Kwara: Creating Enabling Environment For Businesses To Flourish, By Oyewale Oyelola
The new order in Nigeria is shifting from era where government involves directly in business ventures to era where government at federal, state and local government level tailored their machineries towards creating conducive environment for private entrepreneurs to establish companies, thereby contributing to economic growth through job creation, revenue generation for government among other benefits.
Kwara State Government under the leadership of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, a leader with business acumen, has displayed high level of commitment to make the state investment hub for local and foreign investors.
Governor Ahmed, having worked in private sector for many years, is not unaware that government policies could make or mar the growth of any business organisation. This accounted for different policies/programmes introduced by Kwara State Government to create conducive business environment for investors.
The state boasts of Public Private Partnership Bureau, run by accomplished professionals in business and banking, whose mandate is to promote investments and serve as a link between the state government and the private sector.
Also, the state government has doubled its efforts to address infrastructural deficit with the introduction of IF-K in order to build infrastructure such as roads, bridges, electricity and others. Similarly, the priority given to security of lives and properties through various support programmes for security agencies in the state of harmony has turned the state to safe haven for everyone. Additionally, the IGR reform of Kwara State has placed the state on a sound revenue pedestal and tripled internal revenue by changing the people, process and technology for tax collection and administration without introducing new taxes. Kwara State Internal Revenue Service has, within two years, streamlined taxes, boosted the informal sector and insulated the state from turbulence of unstable federal allocation.
Apart from that, the state government sometimes helps businesses to secure land for establishment of business in the state. In 2017, Governor Ahmed led administration facilitated the process that led to acquisition of 1900 hectares of land for farming by QuinniMCGrath Limited. The company according to its Chairman, Mr Didi Ndiomu would create over 700 jobs and boost economy of the state.
Furthermore, KAM Wire has expanded their business in the state, thereby making the Kwara based company leading manufacturer of building materials in the country. Another Multinational Feed Mills, OLAM farms has engaged about a thousand workers.
Likewise, a leading telecom company has relocated its Call Centre with above 1000 capacity to the state due to tranquillity and peaceful atmosphere in Kwara State. Aside that, media houses, especially private owned radio stations, are springing up in the state on account of business friendly environment created by Governor Ahmed led administration.
Consequently, the influx of business organisations in the state without doubt have created employment for thousands of people, contributing millions of naira to state’s economy monthly and increase state’s IGR through various taxes.
Hence, Kwara State is fast moving from typical civil servants state to a state that is driven by both public and private sectors.