Thinking ahead of time with enthusiastic mind, Kano state government under governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje organised a special meeting with industrialists in the state, to evolve working and scientific strategy to face any eventuality that could crop up after the threat poses by COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting was held at Africa House, Government House, Kano, through the leadership of those industrialists, like Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Kano Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA), Zonal branches of individual companies, Sunday.
While from the government side there was full participation of strong pillars that would play critical role to fine tune the implementation of any strategy, that could be on industries to small businesses down to consumers, when put in place.
These are Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperative, with Muhammad Mahmud Santsi as Commissioner and the Director General, Cottage Trades and Street Hawking Directorate, Uba Tanko Mijinyawa (Danzainab).
While reminding industries that his administration would do everything possible to see to the rebouncing back of their places of businesses, during and after the pandemic, governor Ganduje directed them to go and come up with modalities on how to manage the current situation and how to navigate through, effectively and successfully.
“What we need now is to evolve modalities that can be used to unlock your industries, without risking the lives of your management and your workers. I am sure such modalities are coming very soon. So that we can compare notes and see the safest and possible way of facing the situation,” he reveals.
He assures that, businesses in the state would emerge stronger after the pandemic challenge, adding that, “As you are aware, we are always in the habit of working together for the development of the state economy and the nation in general.”
On the current situation the governor emphasises that, while government believes that continuous lockdown would not augur well for the people and at the same time, government didn’t want unlock the whole state, “…but we want unlock our industries. So we need to come up with modalities for that.”
Ganduje rightly observes that, unlike industries that are in clusters, like that of Challawa, Bompai and Sharada, but their workers do not live in clusters, “…this, among other issues need to be looked at critically in your modalities, so that we compare notes,” he stated.
For easy and immediate action on other non-essential and non-raw materials companies, wanting to be back to work, he directed that a comprehensive list of companies that are affected by the lockdown, be compiled and given to the government, “So that we can see how to come about it,” he promised.
In tandem with the Governor’s aspiration of making industries wax stronger, within and after the pandemic periods, the National Vice President of NACCIMA, Ahmed Rabi’u appreciated that, governor Ganduje places the state to be one of the states of the federation that would come out of the anticipated recession very quickly.
Suggesting that, “As we are committed to work with the government Your Excellency, we are calling on public private partnership (PPP), so that we can place the state on a higher pedestal and on fast lane to economic development.”
As part of the strategy to face the situation during and after the COVID-19 threat, specifically on the economy, Rabi’u said, industries would henceforth take two major things into consideration, “First is to make businesses understand the necessity of cutting their cloth according their sizes and secondly, moving away from businesses that are not profitable to profitable ones,” he said.
By way of consolidating efforts towards coming out of the expected recession after COVID-19 threat, for economic growth and development in the state, the Managing Director of Mamuda Industries, Mr Hassan Hamood, reveals that he was perfecting plan to establish Gas plant in the state, in the next couple of months.
That, according to him would do away with the challenge posed by inadequacy and paucity of Gas for industrial use in the state, “… which has been a big source of concern from our people. With this development, I am assuring you, Your Excellency, that, many obstacles that serve as bottlenecks for the development of our industries would be put out,” he projected.
In his remarks, the President of KACCIMA, Dalhatu Abubakar of Al-Hamsad Investment, expressed their gratitude to the state government for good handling of the business community during the pandemic, “…particularly for allowing some section of our people to operate during the lockdown,” he commended.
“When the lockdown started we went to the governor to request for our companies to operate. Those on essential services were given the chance to operate. We are very grateful Sir. It is evident that, 25 percent of our companies provide essential services,” he mentioned.
He further requested that, “Sir as we are law abiding citizens, we are kindly requesting for more days to operate with an addition of more industries to operate. It is on this note that we are commending the state government for providing secure environment for us to operate. The state security system is commendable.”
“We appreciate the state government in stemming the tide in this fight against COVID-19 pandemic. It is evidently clear that His Excellency, the governor, is doing very well in this aspect just like in may other areas,” he concludes.
Many issues were discussed during the interactive session between the governor and the business community. Some of the issues raised and discussed centred around the need for the state to link the business community up with some of the relevant federal government intervention programmes.
Commissioner for Environment, Dr Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, assured the business community that their premises were among the places earmarked for disinfection and fumigation exercises, “…as done to many public places, like market, hospitals, motor parks, in the state,” he said.
Representative of the state Technical Committee on COVID-19 offered that, the State Task Force on COVID-19 would work hand in hand with industries in the state to train them on ways to handle infectious diseases in their environments.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State