The Nigerian government has expressed its readiness to partner with any state government that shows promising initiatives underpinned by workable strategies that can encourage local and foreign investors for sustainable development in the country.
President of Nigeria, Muhammodu Buhari made the assertion at the opening ceremony of the ongoing Katsina state Economic and Investment summit with the theme “unlocking Economic and Investment Potentials for Sustainable development.”
The summit is seeking investors in the areas of Agriculture, power, solid minerals, hospitality and property development.
The president said Katsina state has demonstrated one of such by bringing “local and international investors together to chart ways forward on how to develop the state.”
He said in the course of the discussion, the private sector should be made the engine driver of economic growth as well as the largest investor in the economy of the state.
“It should be the quickest, most efficient and sustainable path towards industrialisation. The state government should work closely with the private sector each bringing to the table its competences for success to be achieved “advised the President
He said the initiative of Katsina state is imperative as the federal government alone cannot deliver on the high expectation of the people.
“Katsina state has done well by embarking on ways to unlock investment potentials in the state by assembling the brightest to deliberate. It will lead to employment and it is only employment that is the quickest way of getting people out of poverty”
He said the decision of Katsina state to give tax incentives to companies with high ranking in the ease of doing business in the country among others especially to foreign companies is a good way to start.
He said the “effort is a step towards a spectacular transformation of the state through people, resource mobilisation and optimisation.”
He cautioned that there will be obstacles in the process but “there is the need to master the courage as the terrain will be extremely challenging.”
He stated that Federal government will work with the state to avoid environmental damage in the course of encouraging private sector participation.
“Economic progress must be tailored towards environmental friendliness and safety. The Federal government shall work with Katsina state to rationalising actions to avoid overlap and discourage things that will lead to environmental damage.”
The governor of Katsina state, Aminu Masari said the state government is ready and has gone into ways to create quick win strategies to attract investors that will create large scale employment for the people.
“The state has created polices that leads to easy consent on land mortgage, ability to obtain certificate of ownership of land within 30 days, concession of land for investors in the rural areas, establishment of a one stop investment shop and a 2016 to 2020 master plan with an investment estimate of N692 billion naira for potential investors to plug into” Explained Masari
He said that Katsina is making effort to be ranked first from the current 7th position in the ease of doing business ranking in Nigeria; improvement in its 17th ranking in SMEs businesses with is abundant cheap labour.
He urged investors to patronize the agric and agric business in the state as the state seeks first position in sugar cane production and its refinery, sorghum, Solid minerals such as gold, Kaolin, Mica among others.
The Minister of Trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the federal government on its part is doing everything to enhance investment climate in the country by encouraging collaboration between the public and the organized private sector especially in the areas Small and Medium scale enterprises.
“We have removed many restrictions on businesses, there is currently no issues of nationalization of companies that may scare away foreign investors as well as many consumer protection laws,” stated Enelamah.
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, in his remark urged Nigerians to turn the dwindling oil revenue into fortune by diversifying into agriculture like the way Brazil is doing.
He said despite the down turn in the global economy, prices for agricultural produce remains on the high side which is an indication that there is no glut in the agricultural sector of the world economy.
He the advised Nigerians especially people in the northern part of the nation to seriously engage in agriculture with its wide expanse of fertile land.
The three day summit continues with other technical and breakout sessions.