By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government has keyed into Federal Government’s policy of achieving effective implementation of World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Trade Facilitation Agreement to improve synergy and collaboration among states aimed at removing of bottleneck in our trading environment.
To this end, the government has approval the establishment of Trade Facilitation Centre to achieve effective and efficient domestic trade activities by allowing free flow of goods and services at the right time, right place and right price.
Governor Bala Mohammed said weekend at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Azare Ultra-Modern Central Market where he stated that under the state’s Export Promotion Villages(EPVs) programme, effort is being made by the government through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to decelerate the rate of poverty and other socio-economic challenges among our people.
To this end, he revealed, small and medium industries would be developed, using the abundant natural resources in the state through Export Promotion villages (EPVs) identified at Alkaleri, Zaki and Ganjuwa Local Governments, saying when fully operational, the EPVs would promote exportable products and Local Commerce, provide Job opportunities and enhance internal revenue to the government.
“Bauchi State Government is also making effort to implement the Nigerian Agri-Business and Agro-Industrial Development Initiative (NAADI). The Initiative is aimed at developing the industrial and commercial sectors comprising highly productive and profitable commodity value chain”.
Senator Bala Mohammed explained that the ultimate goal of the Initiative is to accelerate the growth and diversification of the state’s economy into differentiated high value products.
He disclosed that arrangements have been concluded for the take-off of the Bauchi-Gwana Cement Company, a project that was Initially proposed in 2011, with approval already granted for the pursuance of license Exploration permit and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
“There are many other initiatives by the government towards the economic development of the State. Among the initiatives is the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme which has already been launched in 18 Local Government Areas, and would also be launched later today here in Azare for Katagum Local Government”.
Mohammed said the construction of ultra-modern in markets is part of the deliberate policy of his administration to improve the economic fortune of the State, hence the upgrading of the Azare Central Market, Bauchi Central Market and Muda Lawal Market at Bauchi to ultra-modern market status.
According to him, the upgrading of these markets would be done on public private partnership basis, with the private firms executing the projects, while the state government’s equity being the land on which the projects would be executed to allow the government concentrate on other areas such as health, education and security.
“In line with the decision to execute the project through public private partnership, the State Government has engaged Messrs Modern Shelter System and Services Limited to carry out the construction and upgrade of Azare Market to an ultra-modern market”.
He further explained that the Azare ultra-modern market would be reconstructed in two phases, the first phase containing 648 shops, that comprised lock-up shops, open stalls, warehouses, poultry section and cold rooms, as well as fire service and security outpost, among others.
Governor told the crowded ceremony that the state government has lined up various activities to promote trade, industries and investment through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to stimulate, operate and enhance economic growth and development of the state.
Government, he said, has offered various incentives to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive which included, Tax holding for pioneer status, Provision of free land for investors, Tax waiver for rural industries, Security, Infrastructure and the establishment of Trade Facilitation Centre
Kauran Bauchi further explained that since his administration came on board in 2019, it has been making efforts to find ways and means of revitalizing and diversifying the economy of the state, as necessitated by the need to look inward to generate revenue so as to reduce dependence on the Federal allocation for the execution of our programmes and projects.