From Omale Adama, Lokoja
Kogi Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA), on Tuesday, urged the State Government to establish a Zonal Youth Development Centre in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.
President of the chamber in Kogi, Dr. John Alabi made the call on Tuesday, at the “2014 First Quarter Review of Business and Economic Outlook”, in Lokoja.
He said the three centres would complement government’s poverty reduction and youth empowerment programme, noting that government needed to improve on its Youth Advancement (YAD-4) scheme for it to have meaning in rural communities.
Speaking on the theme: “Leap-Frogging Development and Transformation in Kogi state”, Alabi said there was need for government to improve on physical and environmental development, infrastructure and tourism sectors and to consolidate on achievements in agriculture.
He also called for establishment of industrial centres/clusters, floating of Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Industrial Loan Scheme, to aid industrialization and SMEs development.
Speaking in same vein, Special Adviser to Governor Idris Wada on Investment Promotion, Alhaji Yusuf Ali said the greatest problem of the country apart from the contemporary insecurity was Public Expenditure Management.
Ali, who was represented by Malam Aminu Ibrahim, hinted that more than 70 per cent of corruption in the country was being perpetrated through over-invoicing.
He said that the Public Procurement Manual of the World Bank adopted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration had been jettisoned.
According to him, Nigeria is being rated the most expensive public sector in the whole world saying that it costs five times more to construct a kilometer of road in Nigeria than in Ghana.
Ali called for Public Sector Governance Reform to address issues relating to public procurement, as he urged KOCCIMA and relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) not to relent in their advocacy to put things right.