Nigerian Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on the Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA), to take advantage of the state's competitive edge in rice production by setting up processing mills.
Saraki, who stated this when the leadership of the KWACCIMA visited him in Abuja, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, however commended the Chamber for improving the economy of Kwara State through their individual and collective effort.
He noted that there is need for close collaboration between the private sector and government to grow the economy by capitalizing on the policies of government aimed at diversifying the economy through agricultural production, especially rice farming and processing.
Saraki said: "This is an area that government has done a lot through the Central Bank by providing funding for both the farmers and industrialists that want to set up rice processing mills and industries.
"I think we are well positioned for rice production particularly in Kwara North. Let us look at this area through your Chamber to see how we can facilitate the setting up of rice processing mills.
"Definitely, my office will be ready to work with you to see that Kwara State gets its own fair share in the support that the Federal Government and the Central Bank are doing in providing funding in this area," he said.
He stated that a major focus of the 8th National Assembly has been in how to reduce the bottlenecks in the economy by improving laws to bring about the ease of doing business.
He said that the passage of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) Bill by the Senate during the week will help a lot of Nigerian companies going forward.
"We also have been in the forefront in the push for patronage of made in Nigeria goods, by trying to ensure that Nigeria companies get first option in patronage from government businesses.
"Mark you that our government spends trillions of Naira yearly and most of this sometimes goes into imported products. We believe that agencies of government should give Nigeria companies at least that opportunity to see whether they can supply or provide the services.
"I think that will go a long way in stimulating the market and increase capacity for Nigerian companies. This is an area I believe a lot of our companies in Kwara can capitalize on and benefit from. This will increase your production and create more jobs for our people. So I want us to take advantage of this," Saraki stated.
He said that his office will continue to collaborate with the Chamber in the drive o attract more investors into the state in the areas it has comparative competitive advantage.
Earlier, the President and Chairman of Council of KWACCIMA, Dr. Ahmed Adeoye, said the visit was meant to seek the collaboration of the President of the Senate on ways to further improve the business and living standard of the people of Kwara state.
"This effort, to the gladness of the leadership of KWACCIMA, was well noticed during your tenure as governor. Now as you occupy the seat of the Senate President, more can still be done in the area of attracting worthwhile investments to the state," Adeoye stated.