By Awayi Kuje/ Oboh Linus
Lafia, May 11, 2022
Political bigwigs attended the opening of the two-day Nasarawa Investment Summit in Lafia on Wednesday.
Those who graced the occasion included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Ghana’s former President John Mahama, and former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi.
Others were Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group.
Sen. Tanko Al-Makura (APC- Nasarawa South) and Sen. Godiya Akwashiki (APC-Nasarawa North) were also at the well attended event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the inaugural Nasarawa Investment Summit is: “Diamond in the Rough – The Making of New Investment Frontiers’’.
Speaker of Nasarawa House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi led principal officers and members of the Assembly to attend the summit.
Retired Justice Sidi Bage, Emir of Lafia and President, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs led other traditional rulers to attend the summit which aims at promoting investments in Nasarawa as well as fostering partnership between public institutions and the private sector for the socio-economic development of the state.
It serves as a platform to present credible and bankable investment opportunities that are market-ready for investors’ engagement.
Osinbajo said Gov. Sule cast the vision in the early life of his administration to rearrange the state for rapid industrialisation.
He particularly commended Gov. Sule for entrenching several reforms like the Public Procurement Act, Central Billing System and Ease of Doing Business scheme,
He noted that these birthed the establishment of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA).
Osinbajo described NASIDA as a one-stop shop for the registration, promotion and facilitation of investments in the state.
He also commended the governor’s sheer determination to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by 66 per cent, which raised the state’s IGR to N12.4 billion in 2020 and N20.3 billion in 2021.
“When you consider the state that started with N1 million in IGR in 1999, you know that this is massive,’’ he said.
The vice-president advised Nasarawa to collaborate with the Federal Government for the enforcement of regulations on solid minerals development to curtail illegal mining so as to benefit tremendously.
He also tasked Nasarawa to take advantage of its vast arable land to invest more in agriculture, especially in sesame seeds, rice and soya beans to become a leading producer of the crops.
Earlier, Gov. Sule said the summit aimed at positioning Nasarawa as an investment destination by 2023 in terms of accelerated growth, increased economic opportunities, social inclusion and improved quality of life.
He said the summit also aimed at promoting investment opportunities and fostering synergy as well as partnerships between government institutions and private sector actors, who are critical players in the socio-economic development of the society.
He noted that the theme of the summit: “Diamond in the Rough: The Making of a New Investment Frontier’’ was deliberately coined in line with the vision and philosophy of his administration.
In a keynote address, Ghana’s former President John Mahama, said while the private sector drove economies, it was government’s responsibility to install needed infrastructure.