By Bennett Oghifo
Katsina State is to open up to the rest of Nigeria, Africa and the world through a partnership between local entrepreneurs and those interested in investing in the various sectors in the state.
A high-profile delegation, led by the Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa was in Lagos, this week, to present the fine points of the state’s upcoming Economic and Investment Summit that would take place in May.
The Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, Alhaji Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa said it was important to note that Katsina was a relatively peaceful state, adding that investors would find it a safe haven.
The government chose an appropriate theme; ‘Unlocking Investment Potentials for Sustainable Development’ to underscore the importance of the summit. Also on the entourage of the Secretary to the Government, were the Chairman of the organising committee, Alhaji Ibrahim Tukur Jikamshi; Katsina State Commissioner for Information, Hamza Muhammed; and a member of Katsina State House of Assembly, Hon. Umar.
According to the Alhaji Jikamshi, the summit would be different from others because it was designed as a networking event rather than a talk-shop.
He said present administration led by Governor Aminu Bello Masari was determined to open up the state to private sector investors who were expected to take advantage of investment potentials that abound in the state.
“Pursuant to the present Katsina State Government policy thrust on Private Sector facilitation, job creation, and entrepreneurial promotion through generation of viable investments in the state, His Excellency directed for an Investment and Economic Summit to be organiseg with focus on awareness creation on the state Government new investment climate and policy thrust; create a flat form for dialogue with potential Investors; discuss the specific needs of those willing to invest in Katsina State; share emerging investment ideas with the target audience; engage all the state’s unutilised and underutilised natural resources towards creating a an efficient and prosperous state; revitalise the private sector for higher returns and employment generation; and enhance the visibility of the State as a viable investment hub.
He said his Committee with its partners, “The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and USAID NEXTT is hosting the Economic and Investment Summit in Katsina to promote the investment opportunities of Katsina State from May 9th to 11th, 2016. The venue is Muhammad Buhari House (Katsina State Government House). Stakeholders located within the LAKAJI Corridor States, all other states of Nigeria and the international investing community will be present to identify opportunities available in the state.
“This will also mark the official commencement of the synergy between the LAKAJI Corridor States, other states of the Nigerian federation and the international community. The summit will also provide a robust flat form for business connection for Public Private Partnership (PPP), Business to Business (B2B), Person to Person (P2P) and Consumer to Business (C2B).”
He said priority sectors were; Agri-business; Power; Solid Mineral; Property Development; and Hospitality and Creative Arts Industry.
Target countries are: Nigerian nationals; Asian countries the Middle East; European and American countries; African countries and ECOWAS.
Their mandate, he said was to organise a summit that was capable of attracting investors worldwide, adding that they had done need assessment study and were convinced that prospective investors would get value.
He said private business people were interested in about 140 projects that had been identified across the state based on their comparative advantage.
“The Committee had sat down with local entrepreneurs. Some of them are looking for technical partners worldwide; some are looking for finance; some are interested in capacity building; while some are interested in partnerships,” he said, adding that priority areas where the state had comparative advantage had been developed.
The Chairman listed some of the areas to include agri-business and its entire value chain; solid minerals, power, property development and hospitality, among others. He said the summit would be showcasing the bountiful investment opportunities in these areas where the state has comparative advantage.