By Ibraheem Solaudeen.
The maiden edition of the Kwara State Economic and Poverty Alleviation Summit, which held on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at the Kwara Hotel, Ilorin, re-enacted the collective role of government and her citizens in building a virile economy.
The summit, themed, “Role of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Youth Participation in the Economic Wellbeing of Kwara State,” was powered by the Centre for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation and Research (CHPAR).
The CHPAR Executive Director, Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman noted that the maiden event was convened to make room for critical stakeholders to muse on strategies which can be used to solve developmental challenges in the State.
“During our research, we noticed that there are profound strategies which can be used to solve developmental challenges in the State. We realized that we can all come together and brainstorm on how to contribute our quota towards the socio-economic growth of our Dear State. Hence, we decided to convene the Kwara State Economic and Poverty Alleviation Summit,” he said.
Abdulrahman added that the state is blessed with enormous potentials in human, material and natural resources capable of making it a global economic hub.
Speaking in the same vein, the guest speaker, Mr. La-Kadri Yusuf opined that Kwara once boasted of a thriving economy.
He lamented that the scramble for white-collar jobs by most youths in the state has triggered the abandonment of artisanal business ventures.
Yusuf urged the state government to invest massively in youths in order to reignite creativity and drive economic growth in various productive sectors in the state.
Another Speaker, Asiwaju Mashood Shittu, maintained that if Kwara is desirous of building its local economy, then it must identify, nurture and groom young entrepreneurs.
He said: “The wellbeing of our youths should be paramount to all of us. This is because the wellbeing of our youths play a vital role in the wellbeing of our economy.”
Shittu, however advised the state government to create an enabling environment to aid creative minds and young entrepreneurs harness their creative talents.
The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Salihu Danladi, asserted that the summit came at a time the state was steadily witnessing remarkable transformation under the purposeful leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
He disclosed that the State Assembly would give accelerated hearing and passage to a bill establishing the “Kwara State Social Investment Programme” which was recently forwarded to the House by the Governor.
The Speaker, who was represented by Hon. Olawoyin Magaji, the House Majority Leader said: “I wish to assure the organizers of this great and special summit, that our State Assembly will support, partner and collaborate with you. Just like Centre for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation and Research, the Kwara State of House of Assembly desire to see our beloved State speedily attains quantum socio-economic growth and human capital development, in no distant future.
The Chairman of the Summit, Alhaji Lukman Olayiwola Mustapha who was represented expressed gladness that the move to develop Kwara has become an all round affair for all and sundry.