The immediate past president of Benue Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr Paul Ubwa, says the state’s economy has been degraded, particularly in the post-Coronavirus Disease era.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, Benue used to pride itself as the Food basket of the Nation.
Ubwa, in his welcome remark at the 18th Annual General Meeting of BECCIMA on Wednesday, listed some of the challenges facing the state’s economy to include acute power shortage, lack of good roads and supporting infrastructure, multiple taxation and insecurity.
According to him, Benue holds so much promises and untapped potential, warning that no foreign investor will come to put his money where the locals are jobless.
“We have to be doing things and positioning ourselves for partnership with outsiders who would come to invest in our land,” he said.
The business mogul stressed that once the people resolve to process local produce instead of selling them in the raw state, they would have stopped exportation of jobs for the people.
The incoming President of BECCIMA, Levi Yakubu, described Benue as home to the best brains, food and special minerals resources.
He said the new BECCIMA administration, in collaboration with the state government and all stakeholders, would re-evaluate the conditionalities of accessing investment funds to lower the bar for the competent local investors to leverage on.
“With a deliberate policy of packaging, patronage and propagation, products from the low hanging fruits of the state can hit the local, national and international markets in a matter of a few months.
“Our biggest need is to do strategic investment to engage thousands of youths from every local council of the state to expand the output of Benue economy, create jobs, generate wealth, diversify the economy and contribute significantly to the import substitution plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Yakubu pledged.
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