Kwara state business enterprise and industries also known as the Coalition of Business and Professional Association (KWACOBPA) have called on the Kwara state government to find solution to prevailing insecurity in business environment in the state.
The body made the call in a presentation during its virtual launch and unveiling of Kwara state business agenda, with participants cutting across business owners from within the country and abroad, including the state commissioner for Enterprise, Alhaji Wahab Femi Agbaje who also represented the state Governor, Mallam Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman.
The Coalition, headed by Dr. Ahmed Raji, while presenting the 2018 research findings on five priority issues critical for growth and development of business environment in the state, identified robbery, especially highway and bank robberies as major security challenges against business concerns.
The findings presented by Oladeji Ebunlomo, on behalf of the coalition, suggested that government should install 70 solar power circuits at every business area, purchase additional armoured personnel (APC) tanks and 120 security patrol vans that would be equipped with vehicular radio communication system for effective security control.
To combat security challenges, the coalition also called for revival of state joint security patrol outfit, codenamed Operation Harmony, as well as provision of job opportunities for job seekers.
The research findings also identified deplorable road network in the state and called on the state government to reconstruct and complete these Ajase-Ipo-Offa, Share-Lafiagi, Kaiama-Kishi, Omu Aran-Oro Ago and Alapa-Igbeti roads to encourage business environment.
It also called for establishment of business clusters in the state to encourage both local and foreign investors, “as there are no recognised industrial business clusters in the state”, while the coalition also recommended that a standard industrial park be set up, “that will accommodate about 100 industries and laid out with access roads, railway line, high power electricity, gas and water supply”. It also suggested that “The management should be put under PPP, public/private arrangement to guaranty continuity”.
The coalition, which complained of the waste management problem in the state, added that there is ineffective waste collection and evacuation in most parts of the state.
Part of its recommendation is that government should set up dump sites in major cities in the state, noting that private entities should be made to manage it to make it lucrative, stating, “in form of commercialization”.
On tourism development, the coalition identified tourist centres such as Owu Water falls, Arandun Warm spring, Imoleboja Rock Centre, and Asa Dam Inland bridge among others, saying that lack of infrastructural facility like potable water, road and electricity had negatively affected tourism growth in the state.
It, therefore, advised the Kwara state government to collaborate with other stakeholders like ministries of Information, Works and Housing as well as national tourism commission, saying that private organisations should be made to manage the tourist centres.