The Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI)– a group of notable Kano citizens and statesmen has revealed its plans to set up a “Technology Village” by utilizing the skills of young ICT experts to create employment and boost the state’s economy.
Addressing a news conference on Tuesday at the NUJ Press centre in Kano, chairman of the KCCI, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa, who spoke on behalf of other members, identified economic decline as the root cause of youth unemployment and and moral decadence.
“We have met with a group of young graduates and others who are ICT specialists and together we are developing a KCCI idea of founding a ‘Technology Village’ in Kano and two other selected northern states as a start.
“Some of these brilliant young men and women have developed some fantastic applications. Unfortunately, we lack venture capitalist around here. But we intend to search elsewhere,” he said.
Mr Tofa, a former presidential candidate also said the KCCI had last year organized a mini conference with young inventors who came and “displayed remarkable inventions like helicopter, a motor car, new methods of drilling boreholes, electric wall brackets and some farm implements.”
“There are also a group of women enterpreneurs who manufacture very beautiful leather bags, shoes and other clothing and jewelry items.
“For all these, we intend…to hold an exhibition in collaboration with the Kano state government and the federal government so that we can find an opening for their talents for their benefits and that of the country,” he said.
‘Cause of economic decline in Kano’
Mr Tofa explained that the KCCI had embarked on visits to 30 industries and farms in Kano central district to identify the cause of “deteriorating commercial activities in Kano”, with the aim of proffering solutions.
He added that although most of the industries have specific problems, all the 30 have complained about common issues such as:
- Multiple taxation
- Inadequate power supple
- differentials in energy cost (higher in north)
- high interest rates
- dilapidated and embarrassing infrastructure (roads, drainages)
- lack of government concern
- dumping of foreign goods
- threat from foreign competitors
- environmental pollution
- difficulties in sourcing funds
- Abrupt and sudden enforcement of some draconian measures including inspection and seizure of goods by customs and other regulatory agencies.
“It is our earnest hope that the advice we have given will be seriously considered by the authorities and appropriate actions taken to remedy the situations before it is too late.
“We know very well that both the federal and the state governments are doing what they can to make life much better for the people. We only urge that more attention should be focused on the problems we highlighted. In due cours, we intend to seek appointments to follow up on these matters with the authorities we mentioned in the report,” Mr Tofa said.