From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Kogi Coalition of Business and Professional associations (KOCOBPA) has identified lack of access to credit facilities, multiple taxations and insecurity of lives and property as the major problems hindering the growth of private businesses in kogi state
At a stakeholders meeting held at the Reverton hotel in Lokoja over the weekend the business and professional association also identified the pact of COVID 19, infrastructural deficits, poverty and unemployment as other problems being faced by business entrepreneurs in the state and urged the state government to do something immediately to save them from business collapse.
The chairman of KOCOBPA, Prof John Alabi in his welcome address said the association is a collation of about 20 non political and socio- economic associations of business and professionals in kogi state comprising of over 150,000 members across the state.
He said the vision of the body is to be a vibrant and premier coalition of business and professional associations dedicated to drive grassroot advocacy, initiatives and promote policy reforms through the business agenda development process , promotion of investment, sustainable business and economics development in the state
Prof Alabi said the coalition formed in March 2011 has done so much to drive home it’s vision which includes capacity building for members, political debates/ dialogue for aspirants into political offices, advocacy visits to some media houses in the state and round table discussion on infrastructure and taxation in the state, among others
He said due to the sustained advocacy and sensitization of the group , it was able to achieve the establishment of kogi security trust fund which it suggested to the state government, the setting up of an independent budget monitoring committee in the state house of assembly, institutionalizing the practice of public hearings for all legislative bills before they are passed , among others.
The chairman disclosed that the meeting was called to engage critical stakeholders on the key policy recommendations of the challenges confronting business growth in the state and to know the level of implementations.
Responding the commissioner of commerce and industry, Yunusa Olofu enumerated the various efforts the state government has made to stimulate business survival and growth in the state and said unlike other states in the north, the security of lives and property in kogi state is non negotiable.
He said the governor has just given him a marching order to look for a way of creating a commodity bill to be presented within one week to the state assembly as an executive bill which will be passed into law to protect and project commodity sales and marketers in the state