This, the minister insisted, will act as a means of repositioning the LGAs towards having a better mindset of fostering the economic development of its citizenry and poverty reduction in the respective communities.
Represented by a Director in the office of the SGF and the Secretary of the Ownership Sub-Committee of the Nigeria @ 60 Celebrations, Mr Lakunle Fashina, the minister added that the Local Governments are better positioned to tackle the issues facing the local communities by harnessing the available resources to stimulate and sustain economic activities that will lead to employment and income generation and also reduce youth restiveness and insecurity in the respective communities.
According to Fashina, leaders of the communities must begin to scale up their efforts to bring the Local Governments to their full potential and create an investment friendly environment at the grass-roots.
Lamenting on decline in revenue generation in the LGAs, he urged the LG to explore the immense opportunities from the Federal Government Policies that seek to benefit the people at grassroots, offered through various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
‘It is quite enthusiastic to note that the Federal Government has so many programmes aimed at the rural communities such as the Nigeria Agri-business and Agro – industry Development Initiative, NAADI programme; Capacity development of MSMEs to enable them explore the opportunity provided by AfCTA; Capacity building of SMEs offered by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN and Skills Empowerment Programmes by the Industrial Training Fund, ITF done across the States of the Federation; implementation of the Global GAP across the six geo-political zones of the Country which targets key exportable commodities of interest in each zone; creation of Industrial clusters and SME Parks in different States of the Federation.
‘‘On this note, I urge you to key in and benefit from any available opportunity and also take drastic step in promoting the development of agricultural value chains that will produce goods for exports, attract investments and stimulate economic growth’’ he stated.
Also speaking was Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who was represented by Mr Ariyo Benjamin. SA Perm Sec Political and Economic Affairs,who insisted that the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON Exhibition and Trade Fair showcases the empowerment schemes at the grassroots level being driven by the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that the event will attract the attention of prospective investors to the investment opportunities that abound in every local government area in Nigeria.
SGF, however, advised members of ALGON to put aside whatever their differences and work for the common good of all, stressing that teamwork would ensure their meaningful contribution to governance in the country and showcase their relevance to the ordinary people.
Speaking further was Hajiya Binta Bello, ALGON. D.G who explained that ALGON is one family and everyone must set aside their differences and work together.
She thanked the federal and state government for the platform to showcase the various potentials embedded in the LGAs adding that the rural economy is a stimulant to economic growth and development of the Nation at large.
Some of the exhibitors at the trade fair also used the opportunity to call on the federal government to provide an enabling enviroment for farmers and people within the LGAs to thrive.
Representing Oshimili North LGA, Dr Victor Amuwah, HOD Agric noted that his community is largely into agricultural produce and has produced exportable food products adding that the community is also open for partnership with private investors.
‘‘We cultivate cassava, yam tubers, rice. We also have a viable fish farm, we have good exportable spices like the gbono, egusi which we have produced in very large scale. We have also partnered with private sector and at the local government level we have been able to acquire large scale land which have intend to use for large scale production.
‘‘Our reason for attending the trade fair is to showcase what we have produced, we have enough lands to plant, we have encouraged a lot of youths to go into farming and I must say that Oshimiri is an investment hub for would be investors.
‘‘Also, thanks to our governor who has been able to create an interface for peaceful coexistence between headers and farmers to coexist within the community’’ he stated.