…assures Northern business leaders of better business climate
The 2023 All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has declared that he would devote 100% of his time and energy in the service of Nigeria and the people, in an apparent jab at his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, Waziri Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu, at an interactive session with members of the popular Tijjaniyyah sect Sunday afternoon in Kano, said he won’t be a part-time President who will share his time between living in Dubai and Nigeria, adding that he would concentrate his attention and energy on confronting and surmounting Nigeria’s pressing challenges.
In attendance at the session held inside the African Hall of Kano Government House were his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, and at least six governors of the party.
Governors at the session included Chairman Progressives Governors’ Forum & Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Babajide Sanwo-olu (Lagos), former APC Interim Chairman Chief Bisi Akande and some of the party’s National Working Committee members.
At the meeting, members of the Tijjaniyyah sect led by leader, Sheikh Bashir Tijjani Usman Zangon Bareebah, presented a long list of issues the sect wants the APC Presidential candidate to address when he gets to office.
Top on the list are improved electricity, full security, giving agriculture full attention including provision and completion of dams and improved quality education for Nigerians.
While giving their full endorsement and support to the APC presidential ambition, the sect demanded that the Tinubu presidency should ensure inclusion of their members in cabinet and other government appointments, reduction in Hajj fares and assistance in concluding Tijjaniyyah University under construction in Kano.
In his response, Tinubu said the answers to some of the demands were contained in his manifesto unfolded to the whole world on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that he is running to be the president because of his commitment to better the lives of all Nigerians.
In a similar development, the APC Presidential candidate met with business leaders from Northern Nigeria Saturday night in Kano where he assured the business community of a better business environment through implementation of well thought-out policies that will revive dead and ailing manufacturing companies in Kano and across the country.
At a forum to share insights with the Northern business community, business leaders and captains of industry from across the North openly endorsed the APC presidential candidate and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
At a forum attended by the APC National Chairman, Senator Adamu Abdullahi, Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Shettima, Governor Ganduje of Kano and seven other governors, the business leaders said with his private sector background, Asíwájú Tinubu would drive the nation’s economy well.
Governor Ganduje said Kano and Lagos have always maintained a long standing relationship which will be strengthened under Tinubu whom he labelled a Kano man.
Ganduje said as governor of Lagos State, Asíwájú ran a pan-Nigeria cabinet that grew the state in all indices of governance and economy.
While assuring the northern business leaders of better business environment with well-thought-out policies that will revitalise industries and open up new opportunities, Tinubu identified the link between Kano as a centre of commerce and his economic plan for Nigeria.
He said: “There is a strong nexus between the place of Kano as a centre of prosperity and my plan for Nigeria. What I pledge is a revamped economy which will renew the hope of our people. Our country needs multiple centres of prosperity, and we intend to achieve that by adding value across all sectors of our economy.
“As I said during my speech at the Arewa House on Monday, Nigeria is sitting on a goldmine. There is no state in Nigeria that is lacking in one resources or the other. We are determined to explore and exploit these resources to the maximum benefits of our people. Kano, for example, has huge agricultural potentials and important mineral resources underneath its ground like gold, silver, nickel, tin ore and columbite. Each of these, if properly harnessed, can add significantly to our economy as a country.
The APC flagbearer added that Kano’s arable land and its comparative advantage in agriculture will be further expanded to make the state and northern region industrial hubs in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The state’s vast arable land and other agricultural potentials, if added to its population will make Kano a force to reckon with in sub-saharan African agro-market. Those who listen to my speech in Kaduna would have heard about my plan for agriculture. Aside working with the private sector to make input available that would guarantee greater yield, among other incentives, we will ensure all categories of farmers have easy access to finance through appropriate government and private sector initiatives. We have seen the wonders from the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative. We will consolidate on those gains. Kano’s famous dams such Tiga, Chalawa Gorge, Thomas, Kusalla, etc that are not being maximally tapped will get special attention from my government. We will invest in the expansion of irrigation land, channelization of the water, among other initiatives that will ensure we cultivate these lands all year round.
“We will not stop in investing and boosting our agricultural potentials, we will add value throughout the value chain.
Through Commodity Exchange markets, we will link markets like Dawanau in Kano and Gujungu in Jigawa with international markets and boost return on investment for our farmers. The overall aim is to move the nation from import oriented to export oriented economy where grains from Kano will be exported to world market rather than us buying from other countries.
“I know of the commercial exploits of some of you, traders and businessmen in Kwari Textile Market, Sabongari Market, Singer Market and the famous grain market in Dawanau which transacts with the rest of West Africa. These commercial activities alone can provide the state with enough IGR to maintain itself with the right support and policies.
Beyond trading and commerce, I have a special interest in addressing the problem of the dead or comatose Kano industrial estates in Sharada, Bompai, Panshekara, Jogana, etc, which were vibrant in 70s and 80s. We understand the reason why those companies collapsed and we have a plan to revive them and make them competitive.
“We will provide incentives for industrial development nationwide through institutions like the Bank of Industry. There will be a deliberate policy to create industrial hubs and free zones specific to every region. For Kano, we will give attention to agro-allied industries such as textiles, tomato paste, rice processing, animal feeds, etc, in line with the state’s competitive advantages.”