Taking advantage of its abundant solid mineral resources, strategic location and proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, as well as the rich agricultural and tourism potentials Nasarawa state is ready to be an investment powerhouse and economic hub in the country. MOHAMMED YANGIDA reports.
Nasarawa state is poised for economic acceleration and owing to his vast experience as a major player in the organised private sector, Governor Abdullahi Sule has promised to leverage on the net worth of investors, both local and foreign, so as to attract their capital for the industrialisation of the state.This is despite the fact that many have been worried about the lack of serious-minded leaders towards the development of industries that could lead the state to greatness.Even though previous administrations made attempts, they failed as there were no genuine structures and machineries in place.Many see it as a very challenging one while others are of the view that Gov Sule has a professional approach towards the direction while at the same time putting in more efforts towards achieving the goals. This he does by bringing both his wealth of experience and worldwide connections to bear for the benefit of the state and the people.
The driving force
According to him, “My vision is anchored on industrialisation of Nasarawa state to make it the industrial and economic hub of the North central zone.He said his administration would continue to work hard towards providing a conducive environment for business and external support that encourages private sectorinvestments, jobs creation as well as infrastructural improvement and social services to the people.
Stride in security
Governor Sule believes that the first thing that attracts investment and guarantees broad-based industrialisation is security, which is why since assumption of office, he has steadily focused on security and peace-building so as to ensure that people of Nasarawa live in peace with one another.The aim is also to ensure that the people of Nasarawa state are secured, united and understand the purpose of living together and the meaningful impact which peaceful coexistence and what can bring to them and their state.
New economic concepts
The governor however, developed new concepts, strategies as Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy( NEDS) aimed at creating an enabling environment, stimulate economic development, accelerate growth, alleviate poverty and achieve industrialisation towards the overall prosperity of the state.Blueprint investigation reveals that this is the first of its kind towards galvanising government’s vision to sustain accelerated growth of the state economy and translate it to a clear improvement in the lives of its citizens and the achievement of other key development outcomes.The development of (NEDS) (2019-2023), setting up of the Nasarawa Investment and Economic Advisory Council composed of international business experts and global leaders who command significant respect from the local and international community has no doubt shown the commitment of this administration to structured planning.He explained that designing the NEDS would further provide a framework through which all sectors of the economy, public, private and third sectors can direct their energies and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of people in the state.
Presentation of NEDS copy to the UN
When Governor Sule presented a copy of NEDS to the United Nation deputy secretary general, Amina Mohammed on the sideline of the 74th UNGA in New York, the governor said by 2013, the state would become one of the top-most three competitive states in the country.He explained that the implementation of NEDS would serve as a pathway to unlock all constraints which may have hitherto hindered the inflow of investments into the state in the past.The UN deputy secretary general, Amina Mohammed described the decision of Governor Sule to focus on industrialisation on the basis of NEDS as intelligent and timely and hopes that the team would lead to a concrete economic transformation of the state.
Rationale behind NEDS
The rationale for the development of NEDS by the administration, according to report, rests on the need to harness the vision for Nasarawa as among the top three states by 2023. It is for a clear set of strategies that would guide public, private and third sector engagements and investments in economic, infrastructural, social and environmental programmes.While commissioning the state of art cinema facility recently built by French investors in Karu LGA, the governor appealed to other French investors coming to Nigeria to see the state as investment destination.According to the governor, every investor is looking for market and the state has lots of aspiring young people, who are the market for new technology as well as competitive labour.”This document therefore is timely in the realisation of the state’s vision to be among the top three most competitive states in the country by 2023 in terms of sustained accelerated growth, increased economic opportunities and prosperity, social inclusion, and improved quality of lives of the citizenry,” he had said.
Signing Nasarawa Investment Development Agency bill into law
Towards creating an enabling business environment for investors to come into the state, Governor Sule however, signed the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency as well the Nasarawa state Mortgage and Foreclosure Bill into law.He said his administration is doing everything possible to make the state an investment destination that is not only compatible but peaceful for investors to have a return on their investments.He described the two new laws as foundation for the take-off of the state’s friendly business environment, saying that without the laws, it would be difficult to attract lots of investors into the state.“Without these laws, it would be very difficult to invite a lot of investors who are serious about investment, who understand what investment is, who understand what it takes for resolutions of all kinds of issues that come as a result of investment,” Sule said.The governor explained that the agency would facilitate the establishment of a one- stop- shop for all kinds of investments where the government will assist investors towards realising their vision.”Once you are there, they will run around for you. And you tell them what type of investment it is, registration of your company, understanding your taxes, what kind of benefits you would have, what kind of wavers that are going to be available to you. What it takes for you to acquire land, what it takes to get your documentations and C of O,” he stated.The governor added that mortgage and foreclosure law, on the other hand, would promote liquidity.“For housing, it’s going to fast track the process of creating all the legal issues on mortgages and the issue of timely resolution of all kinds of disputes that are likely to happen,” Sule said.Sule, however, commended the state House of Assembly, particularly the speaker, Hon Ibrahim Balarabe, for the prompt consideration and speedy passage of the bills into law.Earlier, the MD NMRFC, Kehinde Ogundimu, described the event as a milestone not only for Nasarawa but the country as a whole, adding that signing the two bills into law is the laying of a solid foundation for investments and greater things that would come to the state.Also, the special adviser to the governor on investment and economic planning, Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, said industrialisation or investment can happen in a sustainable way only through the creation of an enabling legal framework.To a great extent, it is correct to say that Governor Sule has demonstrated commitment towards attracting investments, improving the overall economic situation and charted the path of inclusive growth, sustainable development and prosperity to all Nasarawa citizens.