Simply put, an investment is an asset or item acquired with the goal of generating income or appreciation. In an economic sense, an investment is the purchase of goods that are not consumed today, but to be use in future to create wealth. Investments can be made in various modes and by either private individuals, monolithic companies or conglomerates . In the business world, the vogue is to invest, in varying ways and for varying purposes . The ultimate aims include breaking even, by recording huge turn overs , create employment opportunities , explore and exploit abundant natural, as well as human resources. Nigeria , in general and Kebbi State are not left out in this direction .
It is noteworthy here that, the GDP in Nigeria is expected to reach 250.00 USD Billion by the end of 2020, according to Trading Economics Global Macro Models and Analysts” expectations. In the long-term, the Nigeria GDP is projected to trend around 360.00 USD Billion in 2021 and 450.00 USD Billion in 2022, according to econometric models. One can happily note the projected successful transition and progression . This happy feat will not however be achieved without sustained investments , including Foreign Direct Investmenets (FDI), in Nigeria .
These much touted investments will not be attracted just on the platter of gold . Efforts should be sustained by the three tiers of governments to create the direly needed enabling environment for more investments, by both the local and foreign investors.These giant moves should therefore, be hugely complemented by the State governments. This has been the success story in Kebbi State, from 2015 to date, with the indefatigable Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the ever resilient Governor, a pacesetter and a trailblazer in the circle of policy and development wonks.
There are myriad of investmehts opportunities in Kebbi State which include : Farming as one of the major occupations of people in rural areas in Kebbi state. Others are animal rearing , Energy , Mining, Carpentry, Agribusiness, Poultry business,Tricycle Motorbike businesses, Electronics Store, Mechanized, Fishing, Tourism,Tourists Guide and Gift Shops. Kebbi State the “Land of Equity” was created out of the then Sokoto State on 27 August 1991 by the government of General Ibrahim Babangida. It lies in North-Western Nigeria with its capital in Birnin Kebbi. It became part of the Songhai Empire in the fifteenth century.Kebbi State is bordered by Sokoto State to the North and East, Niger State to the South, Dosso Region in the Republic of Niger to the Northwest and the Republic of Benin to the West.
The total land area: 36,985 with 21 LGAs: Aleiro, Arewa, Argungu, Augie, Bagudo, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Dandi, Fakai, Gwandu, Jega, Kalgo, Koko / Besse, Maiyama, Ngaski, Sakaba, Shanga, Suru, Wasagu / Danko, Yauri, Zuru.Population: 4,724,046 (Male- 2,631,629 and Female- 1,624,912) Vegetation: Tropical Savannah Major crops: Millet, Wheat, Guinea corn, Rice, Onion, Groundnut, Cotton, Maize. Solid minerals: Kaolin, Gypsum, Salt, Gold, Glassware and Marble.
Just recently, to be precise on 16th, July 2020 Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu’s economic transformation thrust and investment derive recorded unprecedented success in the solid minerals sector when President Muhammadu Buhari was presented with the first artisanally mined gold bar sourced from PAGMI artisanal miners in Kebbi State.The Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative ( PAGMI) was flagged off in Kebbi State earlier this year with Kebbi being one of the pioneer states.
This is an initiative of the Solid Minerals Development Fund headed by Mrs. Fatima Shinkafi of the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.
His excellency, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu is vice chairman of the steering committee and since the flag off, thousands of artisanal miners have been registered in Kebbi thus providing more job opportunities for our teeming youths and providing sure security, protection for the miners and the environment.
This is indeed historical and bold measures taken by governor Bagudu to bolster investment and the revenue base of Kebbi State through the solid minerals sector in collaboration with the Federal Government.
It will be recalled that the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI), was flagged off at Yauri, Kebbi State in February this year,2020.
PAGMI which was approved by Mr President in February 2019 with the major objective of the initiative to formalize the activities of artisanal miners so that they can conduct their business in a legal, safe, secured and environment friendly manner.The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is providing the take-off grant for the gold initiative.
Since he came to power in 2015 through the mandate given to him by people of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the governor of Kebbi State has not hidden his feelings or dream for a better prosperous self reliant state that would be a model not only in the North but through out Nigeria.The ambitious zeal to develop the state over the years by the governor is an indication of his patriotism and hard work . Already, the gentle and agile governor has sucessfully recorded a landmark achievement in the rice value chain by revolutionizing rice production not only in Kebbi but Nigeria as a whole through the CBN ‘Anchor Borrowers Program’ launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in November, 2015.
The achievements are indeed tangible and timely as they have further uplifted the’ land of Equity” to greater heights. Scale of rice production had risen from less than a million tone per annum to over 2 million in the state, many people who were hitherto not engaged in the farming profession have joined and many became wealthy farmers. At the national level, Governor Bugudu’s strive has helped the country in stopping foreign rice importation into the country, thereby saving the country’s hard earn foreign reserve and above all making Nigeria self sufficient in rice production within a limited period of time. Twice the President acknowledged and mentioned Kebbi’s rice revolution as the leading Omega of Nigeria’s self sufficiency in rice production. It will be vividly recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has described governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu as ” Ambassador of rural economic transformation ” , this was in view of his enormous contribution to the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
The scheme which was launched and flagged off by President Buhari himself, in November 2015, in Kebbi, had achieved tremendous successes, with the political support of governor Bagudu. Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu’s administration supported the program by also providing logistics support to the Anchor Borrowers Program committee to go out to all the 21 LGAs, to capture the bio-data of all genuine benefiting farmers, in order to ensure that, the only genuine small holder farmers got the loan.
Governor Bagudu’s investments derive is quite noticeable in the agricultural sector of the state which has multiplier effect on the economy of Kebbi State. The state witnessed the influx of both foreign and local investors. Rice processors established rice mills, both big and small. Modern rice mills like Labana and Wacot established their bases in Birnin Kebbi and Argungu, respectively. Other mini ones abound in different parts of the state, such as the one in Lolo, Kamba, in Dandi local Government Area, Jega and Bunza, among others.
The establishment of such private ventures has no doubt led to employment of thousands of Youths and even women in the agricultural sector. Other prominent investors like Dangote and other Companies, as well as International Organizations like United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the partnership between the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), and the Kebbi State Government strategic partnership for $10 Million enterprise investments cooperation in February, this year, were all geared towards industrialisation and opening up more opportunities for investments in the state.
The joint memorandum of understanding to promote enterprise development of producer cooperatives in the state had since became effective. The two parties have agreed to support agricultural producers and enterprises in the state ranging from provision of funds, equipment and capacity building. Each party has provided $5 million, making it a $10m dollars scheme for selected farmers’ cooperative groups across the state.
A major Cassava- based Ethanol Programme is being undertaken in partnership with NNPC, shall lead to ethanol production in Zuru Emirate. This project promises to churn out billions of revenue to the state government when finalized. Tomato factory at Gafara in Warra, Ngaski local government area of the state has been completed. All these developments were sequel to the conducive business environment provided by government, such as tax waiver or reduction, free land allocation, access roads and other incentives necessary for the establishment of any company.
The important feat that was recorded in Cassava production; using Ethanol bio- fuel will increase IGR annually for Kebbi State. According to the Chairman of Kebbi State Standing Committee on Bio- Fuel, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar-Ka’oje, says that the bio-fuel project in Gwazawa, Danko/Wasagu Local Government Area will supplement the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state to the tune of billions of naira.The chairman of the committee, who is the former Minister of Science and Technology, made this known when he briefed newsmen in Birnin Kebbi .
The state government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had on 23 Nov.,2017, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enthnol bio-fuel production project in the state. His words
“We are not producing bio- fuel for the sake of producing bio- fuel ; but we had sat and done calculations, and our expectation if the project is completed and taken off, it will supplement the state IGR if we achieve our maximum target annually.” I am not just talking about the casava, but the bio – fuel from sugar is also going to contribute more substantially to the revenue of the state.
“That is the whole idea: to make the state a pedestrian of being self- content in the event of any eventuality,” he said. According to him also, the project will also provide a degree of empowerment and employment to the innumerable number of people as it has a production line. The Professor also averred that the state government had cultivated a total of 47,000 hectares of cassava as raw material for the production of ethanol bio-fuel production in the state.”15, 000 hectares of which had been earmarked for bio-fuel project; while 32,000 hectares will be used by out- growers to produce the casava.”A lot of activities have taken place and now we are talking to the NNPC as the next step is to prepare the machinery so that the production will commence, ” he added.
The former minister, however, disclosed that the committee had started processing of installation of machineries which had the capacity to generate alternative source of power to the host community as well serving the production of ethanol.”Nigeria has the potential to commence production of ethanol in large quantity for exportation, especially from the Northern part of the country,” he said.The chairman further revealed that the project was initially expected to be completed by end of 2020 but due to coronavirus pandemic, it wold not be completed, saying,” no date now but we will do our best to complete it as soon as possible.”
Happily, the Bank of Industry is not left out in the sustained efforts of Governor Bagudu to attract more investments into Kebbi State. According to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr Olukayode Pitan, has disclosed that the bank has invested about N3.9 billion in Kebbi State for Small Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSE). Pitan also disclosed that over 22,000 people have benefited from the N1 billion matching grant fund released by the Kebbi Government.
The Managing Director disclosed this during his courtesy to Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in Birnin Kebbi. He explained that he was in the state to discuss on modality of partnership with the state government on how to offer support to entrepreneurs and industrialization of the state. According to him, “We came to Kebbi state in order to chart the best course of partnership with the state government to offer support to entrepreneurs for them to set up industries and companies.
His words: “We commend Gov. Bagudu for providing N1 billion matching grant to the bank, and also solicit for further collaboration to move the state forward. Over 22, 000 people benefited from the the fund advanced by the state government to be managed by the bank,” he said. Pitan ,who said the bank has established a Branch in Kebbi State since 2017. He disclosed that as part of the bank’s cooperate social responsibilities, it would construct an International Technology Hub in the state at no cost.
While analysing the bank’s investment in the state, Pitan revealed that the bank had approved various projects worth N3.9 to finance small and medium scale entrepreneurs and investors in the state.
According to him, “N2.8 billion is meant to finance small and medium scale enterprises while N1.5 billion is meant for two indigenous investors in the state”.
In his remarks, Governor Bagudu, said that the state government would vigorously pursue its policy of entrepreneurship and investment drive to fruition.”My administration decided to seek the intervention of the bank of industry through partnership to ease the establishment of industries in the state.” Already, industrial establishment is on ground on agro-allied products, especially rice mills, and tomatoes factory in the state,” the governor said.
Certainly, the recent declaration of Kebbi State by the National Bureau of Statistics ( NBS), as the most prosperous in the North West and the nineteenth in Nigeria is not a misnormer . The diligent , digital and patriotic Governor is not resting on his oars, just like he is not complacent, in attracting more domestic and foreign investments into the state , which always blazes the trail . Surge on , the People’s Governor .
It is interesting to note that, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bugudu’s dream of making Kebbi great among equals, making Kebbi a model for emulation, making Kebbi self reliant and making Kebbi a one stop hub for bussiness investments is gradually and steadily bearing fruition.
Yahaya Sarki is the special adviser media to Kebbi state governor
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