Kwara eyes N200bn CBN fund for establishing innovation hubs

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara says the state will benefit from the N200 billion fund set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to promote innovative ideas and entrepreneurship.

AbdulRazaq said talks had reached an advanced stage for the state to be considered for the funds which he said would be used to establish innovation hubs in high-end movie production and textile manufacturing.

The governor spoke when a delegation of Kwara Youth Centre (KYC) paid him a visit in Ilorin on Thursday.

“We are talking with the CBN on the innovation hub and I’m glad to inform you that our proposal to access the fund is receiving favourable ratings.

“When these hubs are created, they would generate at least 2, 000 jobs in the area of movie production and textile designs,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that KYC is an umbrella body of young people, particularly professionals, who research into the challenges in various communities and offer short and long term solutions or interventions.

The governor said the hubs would attract some European and Chinese firms and enhance technology transfer to the indigenous workers.

AbdulRazaq said he envisioned a state where government would create the right environment for individuals to create wealth and employment rather than anyone relying exclusively on the government to give them jobs.

He restated his commitment to the actualisation of an agricultural value chain, especially in the area of cashew and sugarcane.

The governor said that the state, with the right investment in infrastructure, had the potential to be the number one producer of sugar in Africa.

AbdulRazaq said Kwara, under his leadership, would pay counterpart funding to access funds set aside by the Federal Government and multilateral institutions to drive growth, especially in the area of education and provision of basic amenities.

The governor also said he would pursue e-governance, particularly in the local government councils to fast-track governance.

“I told the DPMs (Directors of Personnel Management) in our local councils that everybody desiring to work with government must be computer literate.

” We have to do things differently. We’ve got to run efficient government,” he said.

Kayode Oyin-Zubair, Convener of KYC, said they had come to update AbdulRazaq on the activities of the group which, he said, the governor had long been supporting.

Oyin-Zubair urged the governor to focus on empowering the youths in various ways and establish economic clusters for different categories of entrepreneurs, artisans and the creative sector.

He also called on the governor to further open up the state with access roads, saying that was the only way through which agriculture and other initiatives of the administration could be boosted.

The governor later inducted KYC as an advisory board to the government.

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