Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya says his administration is determined to encourage small business owners to tap into the export value chain, leveraging on the Federal Government’s Export Support Fund.
This was contained in a statement by Director-General( Press Affairs), Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli.
The Governor stated this while declaring open a two-day training for agricultural commodity traders organized by the Gombe State Government in conjunction with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya urged the prospective exporters of agricultural commodities to utilize the opportunities provided by his administration and NEPC to reap the immense benefits contained in the processing and marketing of Agricultural produce at the International market.
He noted that the state has bountiful yields in sesame seeds, cotton and other commodities, and exporting such farm produce would ensure the availability of the needed foreign exchange for individuals and government.
The Governor said the training formed part of his administration’s commitment to expanding the managerial acumen of business men and women in the State and to expose them to the rudiments and practices inherent in the export of non- oil commodities.
“Let me go down memory lane to inform you that during our campaigns we went round to business clubs and associations with a message that if elected, the APC administration will improve Commerce and the personal income of business men and women in the State”. Governor Yahaya stated.
According to him, if business owners in the State can embrace modern methods of transactional behaviour, their individual economic capacity and that of the state will be improved in geometric progression.
“Before now I had benefited from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and now that I am the Governor I feel it is only wise for me to extend such opportunities to my fellow citizens of Gombe State so that they too can reap the benefits I once had with the council”.
Governor Yahaya called on the participants to remain resolute as they acquire knowledge that will set them on the path of sustainable economic development as it concerns the platform created for them to engage in international trade through Agricultural products.
“The Federal Government is equally determined to assist Nigerians to engage in export of Agricultural commodities, this is because it has earmarked the sum of 200 billion through the NEXIM bank for this purpose so I enjoin you to put your heads together and follow due process so that you can access part of their funds”.
“Our Government has also collaborated in this direction towards the production of agricultural products and will do everything necessary to harness products that have export potential in the State such as Tomatoes, Beans, grains/feeds, soya-beans, livestock products and horticultural products.
“It is therefore, our desire to lay a solid institutional foundation to provide the enabling environment for Investment and export of agro-allied product in the State. As part of my administration efforts to foster strong policy and strategized partnership to that effect. We have therefore acquired over 1000 hectare of land for the Industrial Park in the State, designated as special economic and agro-processing zone to facilitate rapid industrialization and value chain development”. The Governor noted.
The Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council represented by the Gombe State Coordinator, Mustapha Umar explained that his agency was passionate on diversifying the nation’s economy through the export of Agricultural products and other non oil commodities.
He commended Governor Inuwa Yahaya for seeing to it that his consistent shuttle to the Headquarters of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council came to a logical conclusion through the creation of this opportunity.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Tourism, Nasiru Aliyu said the training which was organized to expose prospective exporters on the rudiments of exporting Agricultural commodities to the international market was the first of its kind in the State.
He said the eventual outcome of the training will improve foreign exchange earnings to both individual business owners and the state.
While giving an overview of the training, the consultant, Jalbass Agrarian Limited, Bashir Adamu Aliyu revealed that over 150 companies in Gombe State have been certified to begin processes for the engagement in the export of Agricultural commodities.
He thanked Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for creating the launch pad for prospective exporters of agricultural commodities to begin their journey into international trade.
DN; Edited by Adeniyi Bakare