Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday said the administration will continue to support small and medium scale businesses to deepen economic growth and fight poverty.
He said Nigeria’s trade and commerce have continued to suffer limited growth because the country consumes more than what it produces, adding that this largely accounts for the economic hardship in many households.
He said despite the fact that the oil and gas industry has been a catalyst of economic success in the country, there are a few instances of disbenefits in Nigeria’s reliance on the product, urging government at all levels as well the citizens to be productive rather than always consuming.
Speaking in Ilorin at the opening of the 9th Kwara Joint Trade Fair 2022, the Governor said the event came at a time that government and private sector players should deepen their collaboration for growth.
“The timing and importance of this year’s event is unique because it comes at a time when all hands must be on deck to jointly improve the business climate in a sustainable way,” he said, while declaring open the 9th Kwara Joint Trade Fair.
Themed “Harmony through Commerce”, the Fair was jointly organised by the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA), the Kwara State government, and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME).
“Undeniably, our oil and gas industry has contributed and assisted Nigeria’s economic prosperity and growth. Nevertheless, this has come with its own downsides, including undue consumerism and unhealthy fixation on white collar jobs. This fixation caused millions of people to abandon trade and commerce in search of such jobs,” the Governor added.
“The consequences have been grave for not just the country but also to sustainable economic development and standard of living of many families. Agrarian communities and mostly commercial centers built on trade have mostly been deserted today. Our agrarian economy collapsed with the oil boom of the 1970s. The rest of history.”
Represented by the Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu, AbdulRazaq called for a change of orientation among Nigerians and urged them to continue to make efforts to grow the economy through trade, agro-processing, tourism, and innovation.