From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kano State, Muhammad Sadiq Wali has pledged to adopt a policy of public private partnership to speed drive the economy of the state.
Wali, with a background in the private sector, told journalists that his administration will also ensure that local industries and small – scale manufacturers are protected against the adverse effects of smuggling and the importation of similar goods by some unscrupulous persons.
“Basically, it is protectionism and everywhere in the world, it is being practiced apart from Nigeria. If you go to the United States and China, there are certain sectors that you, as a foreigner, they will not allow you to even invest in. Why should Kano and Nigeria be free for all? It does not make sense”.
“If we don’t protect our industries, then we can’t make it. If we show our people also that it is easier to just go and buy, then we are exporting our money and nothing much is coming in” he stated.
Stressing the need for establishment of local industries, he regretted that with the current rate of inflation and fluctuations in the exchange rate, the working capital of many traders in Kano have been swallowed up.
“You buy a product for N10, by the time you sell, you cannot buy that product for the same N10 again because of inflation and the fluctuations in the exchange rate” he added.
“But if the industries were here and the raw material is localized, then you protect your industry and you protect your economy. That is what China and Malaysia did and there will employment and wealth creation within your borders” he asserted.
He said that his administration will also focus on areas of competitive advantage, drawing examples from China and other countries where these practices had worked.
“If at the end of the day we have to go to the International market for funding, then you make sure that there is concessionary, it is single digit and it is going to a sector and a purpose that can pay back the loan” he stated.
He said that unlike some Northern States, any decision by his administration to secure a facility must address the issue of how the facility would generate it resources to pay back the donor. End.