Kanwan Katsina 111, Ketare District Head, Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara exchanging greetings with the Deputy Governor of Katsina state, QS. Manir Yakubu.
Thousands of indigenes of the Katsina state will soon heave a sigh of relieve as the Funtua integrated textile garment project, which is expected to create more job opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths in the state will soon commence operations in the state.
The Katsina State Deputy Governor, QS. Manir Yakubu,who disclosed this while speaking when he played host to Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) in his office, said the state is working with the ministry of trade and investment to diversify its economy.
He said that arrangements have been cemented for the smooth take off of the Funtua integrated textile garment factory project, adding that they will continue to pursue it under the leadership of Director General Katsina Investment Promotion Agency (KIPA).
The Deputy who said that he had met with officials of the federal ministry of trade and investment several times on the matter, said that they were able to identify suitable sites which are beyond 100 hectares of land for the project, saying that there are other factories or commercial centers that are also pointed to this place. He noted that the beauty of the project site is the proximity of an existing rail line and electricity to it.”
The Deputy governor further stressed the need to industrialise the state especially in the area of agriculture which is the major pride of the state since the colonial era to date.
“Katsina province was known to be a major producer of cotton in Nigeria and we are still maintaining this position till date. The project will be a very good opportunity to have a value chain and to be industrialised .
“It would create a lot of employment opportunities for our youth, generate wealth and eradicate poverty.
On his part, Professor Adesoji Adesugba , the MD NEPZA , said plans have reached a final stage by the Federal Government (FG) to flag-off the Funtua Free Trade Zone, which will dedicate the production of cottons and fabrics for local consumption and exportation, and it will leverage on the cotton belt of the North-West to commence active production of varieties of fabrics in commercial quantities.
The MD NEPZA who was on official visit to Katsina to interact with the state government on arrangement for the take up of the Funtua free trade zone was a nineteen eighty two course mate of Kanwan Katsina in the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said there are two projects slated for Katsina state which include the Funtua free trade zone and the Katsina medical tourism park.
Also, the Kanwa Katsina Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara expressed delight over Adesugba’s appointment as Managing Director of NEPZA, describing him as a “square peg in a square hole.” He said the people of Katsina are eagerly waiting for the commissioning of the Funtua free trade zone, maintaining that the zone wil help boost the business structure, commerce, production, employment, and income of many persons in the State. The royal father, who is 1982 course mate of the NEPZA Managing Director in the Nigeria Customs Service, urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bare, in order to reposition NEPZA.
In a similar development, the Kanwa Katsina also commended the MD NEPZA, and the Federal Government for setting a free trade zone in Funtua local government of Katsina state.
He gave the commendation when he hosted the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zone Agency NEPZA and his entourage to a dinner in his private residence in Katsina.
He said establishing the free trade zone will boast socio-economic activities of people and provide job opportunity to teeming youths of the state.
The Kanwa used the occasion to advise the MD to strengthen the legal framework both at state and Federal Government level to ensure continuity and sustainability of the project.