From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared Kaduna State a leading destination for foreign investments in Nigeria.
President Buhari gave the commendation on Saturday during day three of the ongoing 7th edition of the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit.
Buhari was presented at the event by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Maryam Yalwaji.
The president said that the efforts had received wide recognition as seen in the response of the business community through the quantum of investments in the state.
“Kaduna state has emerged as one of the leading destinations for Foreign Direct Investment for Nigeria in the last six years.
“The success of sub-nationals in attracting investments, creating jobs and increasing internally generated revenue, is critical to the success of the entire country,” he added.
Buhari assured that the Federal Government would actively support the efforts of all states and the FCT to promote development across all sectors of the economy.
“I have closely followed the strides Kaduna has made since 2015; it is commendable also that investors are creating jobs in the agric sector taking advantage of the state prioritisation of agriculture.”
The president also acknowledged the successes recorded by the state in the areas of health, ICT, mining and renewable energy.
“I also note with delight, notable positive private partnership projects in the state, which aim at addressing food security and improving livelihood,” he added.
He said that the Federal Government would continue to support efforts to attract job-creating investments by the Kaduna State government.
“We believe that much can be done at the sub-national level to drive human capital development and expand economic opportunities
“This massive investment in infrastructure upgrade that Kaduna is executing is no doubt an enabler of economic dynamism apart from the valuable significance of improving the wellbeing of citizens,” Buhari said.
According to him, the state is taking full advantage of the economic policies of the federal government and the heightened need to safeguard livelihoods.
Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said the annual summit showcased the business opportunities available in Kaduna state.
She said it was also an opportunity to consolidate the gains of some of the ongoing reforms being undertaken by the administration.
Balarabe explained that the reforms were geared towards attracting investments, creating employment and enhancing the revenue profile of the state.
“We are also interested in growing young and home-grown entrepreneurs who will be seeds for the future large corporations that Nigeria lacks.
“Indeed, we are building a resilient economy for the state, which is what this year’s theme is.
“Our policies and programmes are for the widow who got a starter pack from the state government and also for the large Nigerian business persons who are struggling to export their products.
“Our concern at Kaduna Investment and Promotion Agency is to fulfil the dream of our dear governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, of putting Kaduna state at the top, as the best sub-national for investment, not just in Nigeria but Africa.”
The deputy governor, who is also the Chairman of the state investment agency, said since the inaugural Economic and Investment Summit in 2017, the state has attracted over $4.3 billion in investments.
“The economic summit has been instrumental in showcasing the business opportunities in Kaduna state and has allowed us as a government to receive feedback and continue to improve on the business processes in the state.
“We are determined to position our private sector to lead development through bringing in opportunities for value creation that ordinarily are not available to government.
“Government alone cannot drive development. Our partnership with the private sector is therefore intended to drive quality change and bring development to our doorpost,” Balarabe said.