The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has commended Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule for his vision and unshaken political will, to rapidly industrialize the state.
The Vice President made the commendation while delivering his keynote address during the opening ceremony of the two-day Nasarawa Investment Summit 2022, holding at the late Aliyu Akwe Doma Bequeath Hall, on Wednesday.
While acknowledging the theme of the summit, “Nasarawa Diamond in the Rough”, Osinbajo noted that Nasarawa State has tremendous potentials especially in agriculture and mining that would however require polishing in order to shine.
He equally identified the state’s proximity to the FCT as another potential for generation of internal revenue from personal income tax of workers residing in Nasarawa State but work in Abuja.
The Vice President attributed the success of the event to the vision and unequivocal political will of Engineer Sule and his team.
“This is absolutely crucial and we have seen that demonstrated in the clarity of vision and the determination to get things done. The Governor has cast a vision early in the life of the administration in the following words, ‘To re-engineer Nasarawa State for rapid industrialization’,” he stated.
Osinbajo commended the Governor for initiating reforms through the instrument of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), that sets out a range of reforms covering central billing system and ease of doing business, which led to the establishment of the Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA).
The Vice President particularly noted that, the central billing system, dramatically boosted the IGR of the state from N12.48bn in 2020 to N20.8bn in 2022, in spite of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, while Nasarawa State remains one of the few states that saw the need to enact its own procurement act.
He also applauded the reforms in land administration in the state, which makes land acquisition faster and serves as encouragement to investors.
In a goodwill message, President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, described the as important and necessary requirement to a state that is committed to promote enabling socio-economic development, as well as improve the quality of lives of their citizenry.
Dangote commended Engineer Sule for providing the necessary enabling environment for the investment summit to achieve its goals.
He noted that these enablers include, providing committed and focused leadership and well thought out institutional framework that enables the creation of sustainable conducive business and investment climate.
Dangote equally pointed out developing not only a credible, comprehensive development plan identifying investment opportunities and projects but backing these up with supportive public policies and regulations that make these investment opportunities competitive.
“Here is the good news, I can say with confidence that Nasarawa State has in place all the three requirements that promises to guarantee the attainment of the goals of this summit.
“First, I can say, with all humility, that the state has the leadership with the vision and commitment to achieve it,” he said.
He described Engineer Sule as one of the visionary leaders that made the success of the Dangote Group possible.
“As the GMD then of Dangote Sugar Plc, he has proven this by positioning Dangote Sugar in the top tier of stock in the Nigerian Stock Exchange as the leading sugar company in Nigeria and also Africa,” Dangote stated.
On his part, former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, delivered another keynote address titled: “Building for the African Continent: Lessons from the Ghanaian Economy”, where he shared some key thoughts on how Nasarawa State can proceed, with the benefit of hindsight, with its investment plan and implementation milestones.
Delivering his speech at the event, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the investment summit will afford his administration the opportunity to continue to strategize on the future of the state’s economic fortune with vigor.
Engineer Sule said the event will further provide the state government the opportunity to explore business opportunities that abound in the state, as well as forge investment partnerships in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors of the economy.
“The summit is, therefore, aimed at positioning Nasarawa State in the investment destination amongst the top three most competitive states in Nigeria by 2023, in terms of accelerated growth, increased economic opportunities, social inclusion and improved quality of life of citizenry,” he stated.
The Governor added that, the summit is 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 society.
Engineer Sule acknowledged that the summit brought together experienced and tested financial, investment and economic experts that would assist the state in attracting investment and providing the needed direction for his administration to follow, in order to galvanize growth and development.
Other speakers that spoke at the event include, HRH Muhammad Sanusi II, the 14th Emir of Kano, Dr. Mansur Muthar, Vice President, Islamic Development Bank, Professor Konyisola Ajayi, Chairman, organizing committee for the summit, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir and Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, SA to the President on Ease of Doing Business.
Others are, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress and first executive governor of the state, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and immediate past governor of the state, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura.
One of the two plenary sessions held during the opening day, titled: “Opportunity Collaborating for growth: A discussion on how Sub-Nationals can utilize their shared strengths, chaired by A. B Okauru ESQ, Director General, Nigerian Governors Forum, has Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki as a panelist.
2. His Excellency, my Colleague, Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor of Edo State;
3. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
4. The Right Honourable Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
5. The Honourable Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
6. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
7. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
8. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
9. The President of the Dangote Group of Company, Alh. Aliko Dangote;
10. The Head of the Civil Service;
11. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I, JSC (Rtd), Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
12. His Royal Highness, Mallam Sunusi Lamido Sunusi, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria;
13. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
14. Special Advisers;
15. Permanent Secretaries;
16. Senior Special Assistants;
17. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
18. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils and Overseers of Development Areas present;
19. Captains of Industries;
20. Other Development Partners;
21. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs;
22. Gentlemen of the Press;
23. Ladies and gentlemen.
It is with a sense of fulfillment and responsibility that I address you today on the occasion of a 2-day Nasarawa Investment Summit, taking place here in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State.
2. Let me specially welcome His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, the former President of the Republic of Ghana to Nasarawa State. Similarly, I warmly welcome my colleague, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor of Edo State to this all-important occasion. In the same vein, I welcome the President, Dangote Group, Alh. Aliko Dangote to this historic event. I also welcome His Royal Highness, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to this auspicious occasion.
3. I must acknowledge the presence of other distingushed business moguls and development partners, who are here to be part of this occasion. I have no doubt that the coming together of these celebrated and eminent personalities will, no doubt offer us the opportunity to continue to map the future of our economic landscape, with renewed vigor in order to further explore business opportunities that abound in the State and forge investment partnerships in the Agricultural and Solid Minerals sectors of the State economy.
4. Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this Summit is “Diamond in the Rough: The Making of a New Investment Frontier”. The theme was deliberately coined in line with the vision and philosophy of the present Administration, geared towards driving the State economy for socio-economic development.
5. The Summit is, therefore, aimed at positioning Nasarawa State in the investment destination amongst the top three (3) most competitive States in Nigeria by 2023 in terms of accelerated growth, increased economic opportunities, social inclusion and improved quality of life of citizenry. It is 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 society.
6. It is pertinent to state that, as a State, we have been very deliberate in stimulating our economy, building human capacities, creating wealth and generating employment in the State. It is for this reason that when we assumed office in 2019, we constituted the Economic Investment Advisory Council, headed by Prof. Konyisola Ajayi (SAN) and other respectable Members both within and outside the country, with the objective of providing strategic advice and support to Government in promoting economic development and attracting investment into the State. I am happy to inform you that the recommendation of the Council has resulted to the development of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS) and subsequent establishment of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), under which auspices we are gathered here today, as well as the enactment and signing into law of the Nasarawa Public Procurement Law toward ensuring transparency, accountability and prudent management of public resources.
7. Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the implementation of the NEDS is already reflecting in not just improved outcomes in key areas, but also in terms of developmental impacts of the State. This is evident in the significant increase in our Internally Generated Revenue by 49% in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and we are already on track to surpass that of 2020. It is important to state that an independent evaluation platform (Kingmaker) has also showed that Nasarawa State moved from 24th position in 2016 to 12th position in 2020 in terms of standard of living of the citizens. This is based on the fact that our ease of doing business and investment promotion have also attracted over USD $500 Million investment into key sectors in the State within the last three years.
8. In line with the NEDS document, we have also attracted investments from Dangote Group, Azman Rice Ltd., Flour Mills of Nig. Plc., as well as the utilization of our various assets, including markets, Fertilizer Blending Plants and Packaging Company in Akwanga, among others. Similarly, through our NEDS initiative, we have allocated 5% of our monthly revenue to infrastructure fund as savings base for the State, as well as de-risking private sector investment. We have also sanitized our Public Financial Management Space, whereby, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) accounts are now frequently audited and published. More so, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework now guided our budgetary process.
9. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as part of efforts to improve the standard of living of our people, especially during the pandemic, the Government of Nasarawa State evolve measures by galvanizing stakeholders through Covid-19 Economic Response Strategy, with a view to set out a clear path for recovery, growth and sustainability of the Nasarawa Economy.
10. I must acknowledge that this Summit assembled very experienced and tested financial, investment and economic gurus that would assist the State in attracting investment and providing the needed direction for us to follow to galvanize growth and development our dear State.
11. As a Government we are looking forward to the resolution of this summit for implementation. I wish us all a hitch-free Summit.
12. Thank you and may God bless us all.
His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi A. Sule welcoming the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to the venue of the ongoing Nasarawa State Investment Summit 2020, holding at the late Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall, Government House, Lafia. The two-day summit has in attendance, the former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the 14th Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammad Sanusi II, traditional rulers led by the Emir of Lafia and Chairman Nasarawa State Traditional Council, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), as well as Professor Konyisola Ajayi, Chairman of the Nasarawa Investment Summit Committee, amongst other functionaries.
On the 11th to 12th of May, Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, will become a beehive of activities as it hosts world class business leaders, as well as hordes of investors, during the state’s inaugural investment summit.
This event which has been in the pipeline, is no fluke but a manifestation of the commitment by Engineer Abdullahi Sule administration, to open up the state to investors, with a view to exploiting the God given potentials of the state, particularly in the areas of agriculture and mining, two sectors Nasarawa State can be attested to have comparative advantage.
If leadership can be defined as the ability to put ones beliefs and values into actions and goals and making these a vision that can be shared by others, then of course, there is no gainsaying the fact that, Engineer Sule is a paragon of effective leadership.
Having identified Nasarawa State as a diamond in the rough, Engineer Sule, since the inception of his administration, has left no stone unturned, in his determination to put the enabling business environment in place for private investors to leverage on the abundant natural and human resources in the state for maximum economic benefits.
Since inception, the Engineer Sule administration has continued to execute policies and programmes aimed at evolving Nasarawa State into the country’s new investment frontier, establishing a Public Private Partnership framework that will facilitate private sector participation in a sustainable manner.
Even though it’s generally agreed that everyone has the potential to lead, however not every leader can be so unique as to inspire the people, most especially through horned professionalism, hard work and determination. Engineer Sule possesses an abiding courage to face the unknown and the uncharted path, with sight focused on the anticipated outcome which will see Nasarawa State berth on the land of growth, development and prosperity.
In this respect, the administration has taken concrete and deliberate steps to create the enabling environment that will attract investors into the state. Some of these measures include signing the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency Bill 2020 and the Nasarawa State Mortgage and Foreclosure Bill.
“Without these laws, it would be very difficult to be able to invite a lot of investors, who are serious about investment, who understand what investment is, who understands what it takes for resolutions of all kinds of issues that come as a result of investment,” Engineer Sule has said while appending his signature to the documents.
According to the Governor, the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency, will facilitate the establishment of a one stop shop for all kinds of investments, where government will assist investors towards realizing their vision.
“Once you are there, they will do the 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 will have, what kind of wavers that are going to be available to you. What does it take for you to acquire land, what does it take to get your documentations, what is there to get your C of O,” he stated.
According to Engineer Sule, the mortgage and foreclosure law, on the other hand, will 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,2 Engineer Sule said.
On his part the MD NMRFC, Kehinde Ogundimu, described the event as a milestone not only for Nasarawa State but the country as a whole, adding that the signing of the two bills into law is the laying of a solid foundation for investments and greater things that will come to the state.
“There is a direct correlation between legal framework and amount of investments you have in a state. Now that we have the legal framework, we will not relent in attracting investment to Nasarawa State,” Ogundimu said.
Also, in his opening remarks during the event, then Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment and Economic Planning and presently MD/CEO of NASIDA, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said industrialization or investment can happen in a sustainable way only through the creation of enabling legal and regulatory frameworks.
“This is the promise of Engineer Abdullahi Sule as enshrined in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), to create a private sector led and competitive economy for our state,” the SA said.
As a further step to make this vision a reality, the Engineer Sule administration is about to host the inaugural Nasarawa Investment Summit that will serve as a platform to present credible and bankable investment opportunities that are market-ready for investor engagement.
In a promotional statement ahead of the summit, NASIDA pointed out that Nasarawa State has shown great promise over the years by overcoming numerous roadblocks as the state inches towards her vision of becoming Nigeria’s top investment powerhouse.
“As a State, we have been very deliberate about stimulating our economy, building our people’s productive capacities, and creating wealth and jobs for them. This is the basis of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS) (2019 – 2023), which is a testament to our collective commitment to implement a practicable economic transformation strategy for the State, as promised during our campaign. It is founded on a vision to sustain accelerated growth of the Nasarawa economy driven by the private sector and translating this to a clear improvement in citizens’ lives and the achievement of other key development outcomes,” the statement added.
Thus, the investment summit, according to NASIDA, will also foster a closer collaboration and partnership between the private sector and the government in building a stronger business environment. With participants from diverse backgrounds from across the globe, this is a platform to engage with Government and Business leaders to invest and do business in Nasarawa State.
“The Nasarawa Investment Summit 2022 is a strategic matchmaking platform that will bring together stakeholders from across the Nigerian investment ecosystem to facilitate partnerships and investments in opportunities that will be on showcase,” the NASIDA MD said.
Ibrahim explained that his agency is pleased to host the inaugural investment summit, that is expected to build and enhance private sector involvement in good governance and policy making, especially as it involves the delivery of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), and also provide an inclusive platform and methodology that promotes the participation of all key stakeholders in NEDS implementation.
While the event will facilitate the identification of impediments, obstacles to investments in Nasarawa from the perspectives of governments, investors, international finance institutions, and businesses, it will also serve as a vehicle to showcase multi-sectoral project-specific opportunities available to investors in the state.
The inaugural investment summit will equally inform ongoing efforts to facilitate technology development and transfer of technology to Nasarawa, attract investment from local and foreign investors to facilitate projects and programs that will unlock sustainable socio-economic development of Nasarawa, as well as form development partnerships with the public and private sector that will stimulate production and have a developmental impact across the state.
That the first business summit is taking place in Nasarawa State, is a manifestation of the undaunted spirit and determination of the Engineer Abdullahi Sule administration to change the narrative and to inspire followership through exceptional leadership.
Indeed and as John Quincy Adams posited, Engineer Sule is a paragon of effective leadership because his actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has commended the convener of the Kwantamania Progressives Movement and Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Hon Yakubu Kwanta, for empowering 1507 persons with cars, motorcycles, grinding machine, fertilizer and cash, among others.
Engineer Sule gave the commendation when he spoke as a special guest during the Engr. A. A. Sule empowerment programme, in Akwanga, on Saturday.
The governor, who couldn’t hide his excitement, specifically commended Hon Kwanta for reaching out to help the less privileged members of his community, even though he is not aspiring for any political office.
“This is the kind of loyalty we talk about and I want to sincerely appreciate you for this gesture. I have seen events similar to this but mostly by people who are contesting for office for themselves.
“But for you, to continue to say you are doing something like this just to show support to the governor, I’m deeply moved,” he stated.
While recalling that Hon Kwanta was only appointed as commissioner less than a year ago, the governor said Kwanta was able to organise the event because he has the will, wisdom and focus.
“I heard so much from people, when they will get up and hide over the fact that, we are not the governor that’s why we couldn’t do this. No, because we didn’t have the power. Well, Kwanta is not the governor, he is not a deputy governor, he does not have the powers, yet he is doing things a lot of us couldn’t do. This is what you call loyalty, this is what you call care for your people,” he said.
Engineer Sule was equally thrilled seeing the Mada Nation coming together in unity, stressing that he is continuously happy seeing the people of Akwanga united.
“For you to gather all these people here, our royal fathers and for me to see the excitement on the face of our paramount traditional ruler, the Chun Mada, I am moved by that,” the governor stated.
He however charged the close to 70 political appointees from Akwanga, the highest ever, to emulate this gesture and to reach out to the people they represent.
“It’s not about being a commissioner, especially under A.A Sule. It’s like being a minister under Buhari. There is no money to steal. All the money is for us to work for the people. Good people will always remember good things done to them,” Engineer Sule said.
Convener of the Kwantamania Progressives Movement and Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Hon Yakubu Kwanta, said the empowerment programme was conceived out of the desire to emulate Engineer Sule’s leadership qualities.
Hon Kwanta revealed that the Kwantamania Progressives Movement for Engr. A. A. Sule, which has grassroots appeal, is a strong political force that rose for the promotion, defence and championing the mandate of the Governor beyond its first tenure.
“Today, I am confident to say that the Movement has grown in root and top from Local Government to Local Government; from Ward to Ward; from Polling Unit to Polling Unit and from Village to Village,” he said.
The commissioner emphasized that the members of the movement, stood by the Governor, at a time primordial sentiments was a major useful tool to turn against him and that they stood strong in face of this challenge, believing in him as a man of capacity who will turn the fortunes of Nasarawa State for the better.
Earlier in an opening remarks, Chairman Organizing Committee for the Engr A. A .Sule Empowerment Initiative, Mr. Dan Yakubu, disclosed that a total of 1, 507 persons, including six groups will benefit from the largesse.
Mr. Yakubu gave the break down of items to be distributed to include, two cars, 11 motorcycles, 13 grinding machines and 11 agro-sprayers.
Others are, 534 persons, including all LGA and Ward exco members, as well as 3 members of the Kwantamania Progressives Movement in each of the 70 polling units in Akwanga will receive N5000 each, 300 others will receive a bag of fertilizer each, 500 persons will each receive a branded wrapper, while another 120 persons will receive 2 litres of herbicide each.
The chairman pointed out that the gesture is a personal response to the people of Akwanga Local Government Area.
He appreciated the Governor for his ability to identify the best and make them members of his cabinet.
In a goodwill message, the Chun Mada, HRH Pastor Samson Gamu Yare, commended Hon Kwanta for initiating the biggest empowerment programme ever in the history of Akwanga Local Government Area.
As a token of appreciation, the royal father promised to confer a beffiting traditional title on Hon Kwanta for making the Mada chiefdom proud.
Among those present at the occasion are Deputy Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Nehemiah Tsentse Dandaura, former deputy governor, Hon Damishi Luka Barau, All Progressives Congress (APC) local government party officials, among others.