Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, has advised the Kano State Government to restore the industrial status of the state as major commercial hub.
Udoma gave the advice in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Akpandem James, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Udoma said this at the Second Kano Economic and Investment Summit in Kano City.
He said that Nigerians would like to see the state returned to its former status as a major industrial and commercial hub in the country.
The minister noted that under Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, the State has continued to pursue economic policies and programmes aimed at improving the lives of the people, with particular emphasis on education and infrastructure development.
“The Federal Government desires to see a quick restoration of the boom days that characterised Sharada, Bompai and other industrial estates in Kano.
“There is no doubt that Kano’s leather craftsmen are some of the best in the world.
“We must provide the enabling environment for the leather industry to grow and become a mark of quality recognised worldwide”, he said.
The minister said that funds had been provided in the 2017 Federal Budget to provide infrastructure for the revival of the Free Trade Zone in Kano to stimulate industrial activity.
He said that fund had equally been provided for the revival of the Export Expansion Grant by way of tax relief, as a further incentive to exporters.
On the theme of the Summit, “Transforming the Economy of Kano: Turning Challenges into Opportunities”, he said it aligned with Federal Government’s effort in addressing difficulties and challenges of economy.
“On our part, as the Federal Government, we have been working very closely with the state governments, particularly through the monthly meetings of the National Economic Council (NEC).
“We have been working with NEC to ensure complete alignment in our economic programmes.
“And of course, as you all know the ERGP was developed with the extensive consultations of the States.
“This is one Federal Government that believes that we must work very closely with the states”, he said.
Meanwhile, Former Minister of National Planning and Chairman of the Summit Planning Committee, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, decried the reluctance of Northern governors to constitute the region into a viable economic zone in spite of available resources.
He said it was not too late to do so as other regions of the country were consolidating on the efforts they started some years ago.
Usman was, however, optimistic that the Kano summit would ginger up activities in the state and region with the right political will.