The Kwara Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA) says the decision of the Federal Government to shut the nation’s borders has effected a turn round in the nation’s economy.
Dr Adeoye Raji, the President of KWACCIMA, made the assertion at a media briefing in Ilorin, ahead of the association’s two-day conference.
The conference tagged, “The United Women: Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development in Nigeria,” is to hold alongside the inauguration of the state chapter of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Business Women Group (NAWORG).
Raji stated that the partial border closure had begun to bear positive fruits, particularly on local manufacturers and farmers.
According to him, the policy is helping in enhancing the agricultural value chain and creating wealth for local manufacturers.
This, he said, was achieved alongside control of the proliferation of arms and ammunition as well as influx of contraband goods into the country.
“It (border closure) has a positive effect, if you look at it very closely in the sense that it allows manufacturers to be active, proactive, competitive and more productive, thereby creating employment opportunities for people, especially for those who are into farming.
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“Hitherto, farmers don’t have way to dispose or sell their products. With the closure (of borders) now, we realised that our farmers are up and doing. And I think, in that respect, they are adding value and creating wealth.
“Luckily, this thing is going to create a kind of avenue for our products to compete favourably with any other incoming ones.
“So, in the opinion of KWACCIMA, we are happy the border is closed because our people are having jobs to do and It brings about competition, innovation and creativity, and provides wealth for our people,” he said.
On women’s participation in business, Raji described women as good managers, saying that they only require impetus, encouragement and exposure to key into modern way of doing business.
He explained that the proposed conference would enable women to fraternise with resourceful people within and outside the state.
The conference, he added, would also provide an avenue for discussing and addressing funding options.
The first Deputy President of KWACCIMA, Mr Olalekan Fatai, commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent Finance Act, saying it would support small and medium scale entrepreneurs.
He pointed out that the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from five percent to 7.5 percent would have no adverse effect on consumable items.
The state Coordinator of NAWORG, Hajia Sururat Zubair, noted that women entrepreneurs face a number of challenges ranging from shortage of finance, resources, training and capacity building to inadequate networking.
She said the group would address and mitigate current challenges to enable women to have success stories to tell.