The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has described Kogi State as the new frontier for investment in Africa. This he said through his Special Adviser on Finance, Economy and Investment, Asiru Idris Asiwaju, at the China-Nigeria Production Capacity and Investment Guangzhou Governmental and Commercial high end roundtable, which held on Monday, April 18, 2016, in Guangzhou, China.
According to Mr Idris, the Chinese have shown how a large population can be an asset to a developing society, highlighting how the Chinese economy has grown to be the largest in the world, breaking the US dominance of 140 years. He added that Kogi is willing and ready to partner with the Chinese government, through its leading and reliable corporations and institutions, to effectively utilise human resources to harness the enormous natural resources that abound for the development of the state.
Building on this background, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Multilateral Relations, Donor Agencies and Special Projects, Mr. Adoga Ibrahim, said that Kogi has a geographical advantage over all other states in Nigeria as the only state which shares boundaries with 10 other states, including the Federal Capital Territory. This, he said, is very strategic for investment purposes.
Investment opportunities abound in the areas of agriculture, including rice, cassava, cashew and oil palm. Agro processing firms are needed, and cooperative societies for farmers will be established to ensure the agricultural value chain is well explored. Kogi’s high reserves of fine wood was highlighted for firms that will be interested in establishing factories to produce high end furniture as our wood is among the best quality in the world.
The state government is at advanced stages of discussions with Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to improve electricity supply through generation of power from coal reserves. Omi Dam, Ekura Dam and Osara Dam can all be developed for agro-hydro purposes, whereby power is generated for electricity, and water used for irrigation for agricultural purposes.
It is certainly not news that Kogi’s has huge deposits of iron ore in Itakpe, and that Ajaokuta Steel Company can produce some of the world’s finest steel. And Lokoja’s prominent place in Nigeria’s history and the presence of the confluence portend great tourism opportunities which have remain largely untapped for too long, to the detriment of the people.
These advantages must be exploited through a mutually beneficial partnership for sustainable development. Bello’s government will provide willing investors with an enabling environment for purposeful partnerships for development in the state.
Other members of the Kogi State delegation were Alhaji Momoh Jibrin, the Accountant-General of the State and Mrs. Petra Akinti Onyegbule, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media. Participants at the roundtable included delegations from Benue and Plateau States with their respective governors in attendance, officials of Chinese leading corporations, representatives of financial institutions and development finance banks of both countries, as well as the Nigeria Consulate General, Guangzhou Province and the Mayor of Guangzhou.
The Nigeria North Central Zone delegation was led by Dr Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State.
Petra Akinti Onyegbule,
Senior Special Assistant on Electronic Media to Kogi State Governor