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  • NIGERIA@60: FG Employs LG on Grassroot Oriented Policies, Programmes. September 27, 2021

    ALGON Media Team

    The Federal Government has advised local government councils in the country to explore the immense opportunities from its policies and programmes aimed at improving the welfare of people at grassroots. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, gave the advice on Monday at the opening of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) Made-in-Nigeria Exhibition / Trade Fair in Abuja. The event with the theme, “Nigeria’s Third Tier of Governance as the Stimulant for Cohesion, Unity, Economic Growth and Development” The Event which was organised by Red Sapphire, an Abuja based Events Management Company. is part of the activities to commemorate the Nigeria at 61 Diamond Jubilee Celebration. Adebayo also tasked local governments to promote the development of agricultural value chains that would produce goods for export, attract investment and stimulate economic growth. The minister, represented by the Director Public Affairs and Bi-lateral Division in the ministry, Lakunle Fashina, said that the governments were better positioned to tackle issues facing the local communities and harness available resources to stimulate and sustain economic activities. These, according to him, would lead to employment and income generation, poverty reduction, thus address youth restiveness and insecurity in their respective communities. Adebayo said that the capacity of the third tire of government in generating revenue had declined over the years, advised them to formulate strategies to improve their revenue base. “I strongly urge the Local Governments to explore the immense opportunities from the Federal Government Policies and Programmes that seek to benefit the people at the grassroots, offered through various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).” Adebayo listed some of the federal government Programmes aimed at the rural communities to include the Nigeria Agri-business and Agro – industry Development Initiative (NAADI) programme; and capacity development of MSMEs to enable them explore the opportunity provided by AfCTA. Others includes 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 “Also take drastic steps in promoting the development of agricultural value chains that will produce goods for exports, attract investments and stimulate economic growth. “As leaders of the communities, you need to scale up your efforts to bring the Local Governments to their full potential and create an investment friendly environment at the grass-roots which will increase internal revenue generation and reduce over- dependence on L.G share from the Federation Account,” Adebayo said. The minister said that the event demonstrated and complemented the Federal Government’s focus on promoting and strengthening economic development at the grassroots level and the overall development of the country. In his remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha called on members of ALGON to put their difference aside and work for the common good of all. Mustapha, represented by Mr Ariyo Benjamin, the Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary Political and Economic Affairs, said that by so doing LGs would make meaningful contribution to governance in the country. Mustapha said it would also show their relevance to the ordinary people. “As it is today, interactions with almost all the 774 local government areas in the country does not give comfort that we work as a team,” he said Mustapha said that the role of local governments in the administration of the country could not be over-emphasised adding that the theme of the programme was apt and resonates with the theme of Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary- Together “This event underscores the role of the local governments of Nigeria as the third tier of government in promoting unity and cohesion in the country. “This trade fair and exhibition has been organised to promote massive economic development and to showcase the empowerment schemes at the grassroots level being driven by the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari. “This event also underscores our unity in diversity as it brings together all 774 local government administrations in Nigeria and related stakeholders involved in grassroots governance. “It brings them together to address the need for fast-tracking and stimulating the rural economy, based on heightened Agricultural and Agro – allied Industrial and related service activities. “It will equally attract the attention of prospective investors to the investment opportunities that abound in every local government area in Nigeria,” Mustapha said. highlights of the event include exhibitions of agriculture produce and other Nigeria made goods from different local governments in the country