As Dangote takes lead
Lafia, May 13 – Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), the State’s investment promotion agency responsible for the initiation, promotion and facilitation of investment in Nasarawa has secured well over $600 million commitment from investors at its maiden investment summit, Nasarawa Investment Summit, 2022 (#NIS2022) which rounded off yesterday at the State’s capital, Lafia.
The largest amongst these commitments was from the President of Dangote Group of Industries, Aliko Dangote who pledged to further invest $500 million in agriculture – rice and sugar production in the State.
Other commitments were from the Chairman, Flour Mills Nigeria, John Coumantaros, who stated that the company would deepen its investment in the sugar and cassava value chain and create more than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in the next couple of years, and a $42m from Kelmesh Group, Dubai.
Also, the steel, footwear and plastics industries giant, Lee Group of companies gave indications that they would be interested in agribusiness projects in Nasarawa.
Nasarawa, which is also known as the Home of Solid Minerals is a huge solid minerals deposit (including iron ore, gemstones and bauxite) and has a large arable land with 60% -70% available for agriculture. The State has an accessible investment promotion team primed to nurture investors through the stages of setting up the State.
In a paper presentation, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission’s (NIPC’s) Ag. Executive Secretary/CEO, Mr Emeka Offor in describing the State as an investment frontier and peaceful state, commended the State government’s support mechanism to investors.
“We believe that if all States play their role in attracting investments at the subnational level like Nasarawa, Nigeria would have indeed realized its aspiration of improving the wellbeing of Nigerians,” he said.
In delivering the keynote address, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo described the Summit’s theme – “Diamond in the Rough” as pragmatic and forward-looking. The VP stated that just like there are many facets to a diamond, there are many sides to the potential for investment in Nasarawa State.
He pointed out that the national success recorded in the cement industry was “based on the plentiful availability of limestone deposits which is positive proof of the potential of value-adding activities in the mining sector in Nasarawa State.”
The Vice President also pointed out the potential in increasing the State’s Internally Generated Revenue, noting that “Nasarawa State shares borders with six States and the FCT. I expect that this and future investment summits will showcase the potential of the State as a logistics hub for the movement of people and goods between its neighbours.”
Governor Abdullahi Sule, in his welcome address assured investors of government’s support, attributing the success of investors in the State, including the Dangote Group, Azman Rice Ltd., Flour Mills of Nig. Plc, Olam etc. to the favourable investment policies of his government and investment prospects in the State.
On his part, the Managing Director, NASIDA while speaking with the NIPC Intelligence team on the sidelines of the event asserted NASIDA’s readiness to facilitate investment in to Nasarawa and the friendly investment policies of the State’s government.
“We have the most robust public private partnership (PPP) framework in the country. It is a candid, straightforward and streamlined procedure for partnership,” he said.
There were a number of deals struck in the deal room including the Nasarawa State Infrastructure fund (NSIF) with an investment estimated at 40bn Naira annually. The government signed an MoU with Olaniwun Ajayi and PAC Asset management as Transaction Advisor and Fund manager respectively for the NSIF.
A partnership was struck between BITC Lafia, the ministry of women affairs and social development and Julieth AI; the Nasarawa State Ministry of Agric and Water resources with Maina rice, amongst others.