The Bank of Industry (BOI) and Nasarawa State Government have signed a memorandum of understanding and officially launched N500m youth revolving funds in an event that took place at the Late Aliyu Akwe Doma Banquet Hall on 27th October, 2022 in Lafia.
In his speech during the signing ceremony, Governor Abdullahi Sule said the initiative would help in wealth creation through investment and employment opportunities generation for the youth of the state as government would closely monitor the scheme multiplyer effect.
The governor noted that the over two hundred youths that had already been trained through the human capital development office would be the first to access the funds to set up businesses that would help reduce restiveness amongst youths.
“Today’s occasion is significant as it is in tandem with the philosophy and vision of our administration particularly in the development of youths through the creation of equal opportunities for them to realize their potentials for socio-economic development of the state,” Governor Sule noted.
He commended the Bank of Industry for conceiving the idea of youth revolving scheme which is designed to grant soft loans to the youthful population to boost their economic viability through entrepreneurship.
Governor Sule explained that he had since approved the N250m matching counterpart fund and assured the people of the state that in the second phase, he intends to provide N500m as matching funds and the Bank of Industry would augment it with another N500m to make it N1bn youth revolving funds scheme in Nasarawa State.
On his part, Olukayode Pitan Managing Director/CEO Bank of Industry who was represented by Dr. Rislanudeen Muhammad who is the General Manager Small and Medium Enterprises, North said the Youth Revolving Funds Scheme is a matching funds agreement where the state government and BOI contributes N250m each.
The MD BOI stressed that research has shown that Nigeria has one of the highest youths population in the world with current unemployment rate estimated at 33.3 percent which makes the need for intervention imperative.
“We are optimistic that this funding partnership will expand the capacity and productivity of MSMEs in this great state,” Dr. Pitan said.
He assured that the Bank of Industry would continue to play significant role in boosting Nigeria enterprises through the provision of innovative financial services mostly in single digit interest rates on loans.
On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor and Focal Person, Human Capital Development, Habiba Balarabe Suleiman appreciated the Bank of Industry as well as the governor for adopting what she called game changer.
She stressed that, the state government had lived up to it’s responsibilities by paving the way for the youths of the state to access funds to finance their business ideas thereby curbing restiveness which is prevalent amongst the youths.
In his vote of thanks, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe who is the Chairman Human Capital Development said he realized that the agreement with Bank of Industry had become imperative soon after they trained over 200 youths on employability skills with nothing to offer them as startup incentives.
He appreciated the governor for making the process seamless through prompt approval of the N250m matching funds which culminated into the MoU signing ceremony.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has distributed over 30 additional operational vehicles to security agencies operating in the state, traditional rulers, as well as other government agencies, as part of the continuous efforts by his administration towards ensuring the protection of life and property of the people.
Engineer Sule distributed the vehicles comprising of 20 number of brand new Hilux, 10 brand new saloon cars, as well as a number of fairly used vehicles, at a ceremony at the Government House, on Wednesday.
The Governor listed among the beneficiaries of the gesture to include traditional rulers, the police, 4 brand new Hilux, army, 3 new Hilux, DSS, Air Force, NSCDC, FRSC one Hilux each, NDLEA 1, Police medical unit,1 Hilux.
Others are Nasarawa Waste Management Bureau, 1 Hilux, Pension Bureau, 1 saloon car, Shehu Ibrahim, DG, BITC, 1 brand new car, Mallam Yakubu Lamai, DG, Strategic Communication, 1 brand new car, NADP, 1 Hilux, Ministry of Youth and Support, 1 Hilux, Ministry of Science and Technology, 1 Hilux, NASIDA, 1 Hilux, Ministry of Women Affairs, 1 Hilux, Office of the Auditor General (State and Local Government), 2 Hilux, while the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, gets 1 one pick up van.
Also benefitting are Christian leaders under the aegis of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), 2, leaders of the Muslim community, 2, as well as vigilante and hunters group, one Sharon each.
While appreciating God, as well as all the stakeholders and the people of the state, for the continued support given to his administration, leading to making Nasarawa State one of the safest states in the country, in spite of the prevailing security challenges, Engineer Sule said his administration will continue to support security agencies in the state to facilitate their operations towards enduring peace and security.
He described security as the responsibility of all and sundry, adding that is the reason why his administration will not just remain grateful but will continue to make stringent efforts towards sustaining peace and security in the state.
The Governor recalled recently that his administration had cause to order for the shutdown of schools as part of the continuous efforts to curtail insecurity.
“Recently, if you remember, when we were told about a possible attack by some criminals, we decided to shutdown our schools. God almighty helped us to ensure we didn’t have any crisis whatsoever as a result of shutting down the schools. We thank both the institutions for their cooperation as well as the students for accepting the schools to be closed,” he said.
As the country inches towards another political campaign period, he appealed to both Christian and Muslim leaders, to pray for the state and to create awareness especially among supporters of politicians seeking political offices.
“We must have a state before the leaders. Let’s have a peaceful state. Preach to supporters. We must live peacefully in our state first,” he stated.
Earlier, in an opening remarks, Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, Barrister Mohammed Ubandoma Aliyu, noted that, since his coming into office in 2019, Governor Abdullahi Sule has continued to give priority attention to the provision of security for the protection of life and property of the people, as well as, creation of desired environment for socioeconomic development in the state.
The SGNS said the distribution of operational vehicles to security agencies and other government agencies, is intended to further strengthen the operation of security personnel and also enhance execution and implementation of government policies and programmes.
Barrister Ubandoma disclosed that, so far, the Engineer Sule administration has purchased and distributed 129 vehicles, comprising Hilux, land cruisers, buses and other exotic cars.
“In order to sustain the tempo of performance of our security agencies, as well as government institutions, we are gathered here today to witness the distribution of 30 brand new vehicles, 8 Sharon cars and 4 fairly used Hilux pickups,” he added.
In a vote of thanks on behalf of the benefitting security agencies, Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Adesina Soyemi, appreciated the Governor for the continuous support given to security agencies operating in the state.
Represented at the event by DCP Umar Shehu Nadada, the police commissioner assured that security agencies will continue to maintain the lead for Nasarawa to remain one of the safest in the nation and the safest in the North Central geopolitical zone.
The CP used the opportunity to call on all the indigenes of the state, to continue supporting the security agencies by way of divulging information to the agencies, as according to him, “security business is not a one man business, security is for all. Everybody has to contribute his own quota to ensure that the state is secured.”
A team from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has arrived Lafia, to inspect the Lafia Cargo Airport, as part of the process for refunding and subsequent takeover of the facility by the Federal Government.
The team, led by its permanent secretary, Mrs. Suzette Taylor-Lee Chee, paid a courtesy call on Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
Represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Victor Amata, the permanent secretary said they were in the state to inspect the Lafia Cargo airport as part of the process leading to the taking over the facility by the Federal Government.
She expressed appreciation that the ministry was in receipt of all the necessary documents and have gotten the desired support, regarding the handing over of the airport.
“However, part of the procedure of refund is for us to inspect the project before we communicate it to the council.
“We want to assure you that after this inspection, I am sure in the next couple of weeks we will get FEC approval for this project,” she stated.
Responding, Governor Abdullahi Sule thanked the Federal Government, especially President Muhammadu, for approving the takeover of the airport.
While also thanking members of the ream for undertaking the inspection visit, Engineer Sule appealed to them to also consider inspecting the bypass linking the airport to Keffi, started by the past administration of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura.
“Even though that would be outside your responsibility, I will plead with you to also look at the road. I’m happy you came on the road through Akwanga. But the former governor, as he was building the airport, he began the construction of another road that will link to almost Keffi, which will now reduce almost one and a half hours of time from Abuja.
“That’s the purpose of this airport, to link us to Abuja. But it will not be for only people of Nasarawa State. It will be for the people of Benue, Taraba and other eastern and southern part of the country that come through Lafia,” he stated.
Engineer Sule informed the team that, the Lafia Cargo airport has the latest technology, starting from the weather control to the control tower.
He showed appreciation to the permanent secretary, Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, as well as the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who played a key role towards ensuring the takeover of the airport
Nasarawa State carted home four (4) Awards of Titans of Technology
His Excellency Engr. Abdullahi A.Sule has given the Nasarawa State ICT Bureau a pat on the back for their hard work which has lifted ICT usage in the state , leading to many developmental achievements.
The Governor disclosed this as he received the Management and staff of the Bureau for Information and Communication Technology (BICT) who were at the Government House to present the State ICT Policy to the Gov. Sule, as well as present the third edition of ICT achievements, the Bureau Score Card and the awards of Most Innovative State of the Year and ICT Innovation Governor of the Year 2022 which were received at the Titian’s of Technology Awards recently.
Appreciating the effort of the Director General of Bureau for Information and Communication Technology and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Governor Abdullahi Sule said the growth of ICT in the state was made possible because of their effort and other staff of the organisation.
Urging them to sustain the tempo, the Governor said the need for ICT compliance in all government institutions is imperative, saying the new ICT policy that have been drafted by the bureau is apt.
Leading Management and staff of the Nasarawa State Bureau for Information Communications Technology, the Director General, Shehu Ibrahim said the Governor has blazed the trail in the area of ICT, saying his efforts has given a leeway for the growth of ICT, hence the awards of the most innovative state of the year.
He appreciated the confidence the Governor had put on them, which had made them succeed, assuring that the best was yet to come from the Nasarawa State ICT team.
Nasarawa State recieving ‘Most Innovative State of the Year’ presented by Former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission Engr. Ernest C. A. Ndukwe (2000 – 2010) to the Nasarawa State Director General and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor at the 2022 Titans of Technology Awards.,
Nasarawa State wins Most Innovative State of the Year, His Excellency Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule wins ICTInnovation Governor of the Year,, Director General BiCT Shehu Ibrahim wins Outstanding Promoter of Digital Economy and Senior Special Assistant to Governor , Haruna Sani Sani wins ‘Excellence in Innovative Service Delivery ‘ at the Titans of Technology Awards
Titans of Technology Awards now in its 18th year was established as a platform to celebrate Hi-tech most important movers and shakers; pioneers, Innovators, men, women, organisations and institutions who blazed the trail and used ICT to improve the way of life in our society. It is a recognition of overall excellence, of unflinching commitment and a lifetime of efforts in the service of ICT and humanity.
Titans of Technology Awards popularly known as Nigeria Tech Industry Grammy was established as a platform to celebrate Hi-tech achievements hosted by ace ICT journalist Don Pedro Aganbi, one of Nigeria’s top celebrated information communication technology (ICT) broadcast journalist
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