The Niger State Government along with the private sector will cooperate towards creating a conducive environment for private businesses to drive the state economy.
According to a press release by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor, Mary Noel-Berje, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello disclosed this when he received Niger State Coalition of Business, Professional Association (NICOBPA) at the Government House, Minna.
Governor Sani Bello said that there is much reliance on the government even when there are so many opportunities in the private sectors adding that the narrative has to change by encouraging private businesses to grow in the state.
“There is too much dependence on government, 80 per cent of dependence on government and we have great opportunities to go to so many other businesses in Niger State especially in agriculture and mining sector even other sectors”, he said.
The Governor added that the state government will do its best to assist businesses to strive and that all ministries, departments, and agencies will be involved.
“We will continue to work with private organisations like you. What we need to do is to encourage people to go into businesses”, he told members of NICOBPA.
As part of encouraging private businesses in the state, the Governor said that he had cautioned the Board of Internal Revenue on multiple taxations.
“I have already told the Board of Internal Revenue to be careful with the way they increase their taxes, not to put a burden on the people that pay taxes”, he said.
He said that the state government was constructing roads linking communities that have business potentials across the state.
Chairman of NICOBPA who led the delegation, Mohammed Murtala Lawal said that their association’s aim includes broadening and strengthening democracy, good governance by creating enabling business society as well as the environment.
Lawal added that they have participated in a roundtable dialogue on taxation, security summit, gubernatorial debates, and development of business agenda to identify the problems militating against business development in the state.
He identified some challenges facing business growth in the state to include; poor power supply, multiple taxes, poor access to credit, poor road network, security, and inadequate water supply.
He, however, commended the governor on the recent developments towards addressing some of the challenges.
“We want to commend you for the steps you have taken towards rectifying these highlighted problems and challenges”, he said.
The chairman presented to the governor the business agenda for the 2016 and 2019 revised version of the association.