Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said development would only take place when energies were collectively channelled to peace building instead of the destruction of lives and property.
He stated this at the fifth Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, urging Nigerians to cooperate with the government and security agencies to ensure peace and harmony in their states.
The president, in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, at a virtual opening of summit, with the theme “KADInvest 5.0, Infrastructure, Industrialisation and Innovation” congratulated the state government for making KADInvest a regular fixture on the investment calendar, held annually since 2016.
“We must live together as brothers and sisters because without peace, development cannot take place,” he said.
He commended the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to transform the state into the new investment destinations of choice in Nigeria.
“These efforts have received just recognition in the response of the business community which has put in new investments in the state. This is a further affirmation of the ranking of the state as number one for Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018. I call on the Kaduna State Government to keep up these laudable efforts and surpass the impressive results already attained,” he said.
President Buhari noted that the success of state government in attracting investments, creating jobs and increasing internally generated revenues would be critical to the development of the entire country.
“I am impressed that the Kaduna State Government has from inception used KADInvest as a serious platform for showcasing its investment potentials. The state’s commitment to consistent implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Charter is exemplary, including its ability to increase its Internally Generated Revenue to N44 billion in 2019 from N13billion in 2015 without hiking tax rates. This is very laudable.
“It is a fitting statement of the resilience of the Kaduna State government that it is able to host the 2020 edition amidst the severe disruptions to the normal order caused by COVID-19. This is the sort of determined focus that can help the country to navigate the challenging consequences of the pandemic. It was my pleasure to commission the Olam Hatchery and Feed Mill project in 2017, about 18 months after the ground-breaking was done at the first edition of KADInvest in 2016. It is commendable that investors like Tomato Jos are creating jobs in the agribusiness sector, taking advantage of Kaduna State’s prioritisation of agriculture.
“I also note with delight the success of new investments in renewable energy like Blue Camel and tractor assembly and the revitalisation of poultry farms across the state. The ongoing development of iron mining and steel processing capacity in the state through investments by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited is especially commendable.”
President Buhari said the Federal Government would continue to support efforts to attract job-creating investments.
“We believe that much can be done at the sub-national level to drive human capital development and expand economic opportunity. I note with delight the massive investments in infrastructure upgrade Kaduna State is executing through the urban renewal programmes in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.
“Given the track record since 2015, I have no doubt that the Kaduna State Government and its private sector partners will take full advantage of the economic windows that are being opened by Federal Government investments such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline. The state government should afford full cooperation and support to cross-border federal projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Highway.”