From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Yahaya has disclosed plans to harness the non-oil sectors to boost revenue generation for the state.
The Governor made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen at the ongoing two-day training workshop for New Exporters Development Project (NEDP).
The training, which was organized by the state government in collaboration with Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), was to create awareness and to encourage small business owners to tap into the export value chain.
Governor Yahaya noted that the state has bountiful yield in sesame, cotton, adding that exporting such farm produce would ensure the availability of the needed foreign exchange for individuals, governments both at the State and Federal.
He said, “between 70 and 80 percent of our people are farmers, even most of our businessmen deal in commodities like Sesame, Soya Beans, Cotton and many of them are not exposed to international trade.
We realized that when we develop the value chain along production, processing and exporting we will improve the economy not only of Gombe State”.
“That is why we organized the seminar to enlighten them, to align them with the export promotion council so that they can know the processes involved, so that they can key in with a view to improving revenue which is oil dependent,” Governor Yahaya added”.
Speaking earlier, the state’s commissioner of Trade and Investment Mohammed Aliyu, stated that the state would get the required foreign exchange which is targeted at improving revenue.
He revealed that out of over 50 companies that were encouraged and applied for support on the export program, many have started benefitting, stressing that the state has been supporting farmers in order to encourage the non-oil sector.
Aliyu added saying, “this will help greatly in foreign exchange earnings. To encourage the non-oil sector of the economy especially in these current challenges of COVID-19 and the ongoing debate over VAT.
“It is worthy of note that Gombe State is blessed with fertile arable land that will promote the cultivation of both cash and food crops among them are Soya Beans, Groundnut, Sesame, cotton, hibiscus flower”.