Kano State Government has expressed commitment toward the actualization of the multi-billion naira Kano Economic City (KEC).
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje said this at Zonal sensitization and consultation workshop on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kano on Wednesday.
He said the state government found it necessary to complete the project in view of the fact that when completed, it would facilitate international trade.
According to him, the Kano Economic City will also go a long way in modernizing the existing major metropolitan markets at Kantin Kwari, Sabon Gari, Dawanau and Kurmi.
“Some of these markets have been in existence for centuries, with Kurmi market dating back to the 15th centuries,” he said.
Ganduje also expressed optimism that KEC would in a great way transform the economy of Kano and restore it to its enviable position as a strategic sub-Saharan African trade hub and linking Central Africa.
“KEC is an approach initiated by the Kano State Government to improve the quality of the urban context.’’
He said the effort would be achieved through the relocation of numerous commercial activities that clogged up the city into a more distinct and new revenue generation scheme.
“When completed, the project is expected to decongest the prime areas within the metropolitan.”
The governor said it would also provide space for new functions to boost economic activities in the city and facilitate the African Continental free Trade Areas.
Ganduje disclosed that the state government had embarked on a strategy for the actualisation of the pioneer Free Zone at Panisau.
Other free zones, he said were; the Kanye Karaye Local Government Area site, Dala Inland Dry port Transport and Logistics free zone.
“These free zones are contributing over 1, 000 hectares of land for free zone enterprises.”
He commended the organisers of the event for choosing Kano for the occasion.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General, Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), Amb. Chiedu Osakwe said the programme was organised in compliance with the Federal Government directive.
He also said that it was to sensitise people and seek their inputs on AfCFTA.
NAN reports that the event was organised by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in collaboration with Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN).
The sensitisation and consultations were aimed at giving Nigerians the opportunity to deliberate on the benefits or otherwise of joining AfCFTA.
Various stakeholders: Representatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, National Association of Small Scale Industries and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria among others also attended the occasion.(NAN)