Kaduna’s $4.3 billion investments: The reward of careful planning
A News Analysis by Hussaina Yakubu, News Agency of Nigeria
Kaduna State is gradually emerging as a new business destination of choice in Nigeria, attracting major investments in the last seven years.
So far, the state has generated investment portfolio of about $4.3 billion spanning areas of agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and retail services.
Already, more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created.
This feat was achieved by deliberate planning through the creation of a one-stop-shop and operationalizing of the ease of doing business charter to break barriers to investments and expansion of the fiscal space.
The state, in 2018, was ranked first in the country by the World Bank in the ease of doing business. This is a quantum leap from the 24th position it occupied in 2014.
According to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, the government’s cardinal agenda is anchored on providing enabling environment for the private sector to drive the economy while government provides the enabling environment.
“This is driven by numerous policy actions and reforms that are geared towards revamping our competitive edge by making Kaduna the state of choice for investments decisions.
He said that the government vision was driven by the recognition that the private sector provides the fastest way to create jobs and global competitiveness for the bulging youthful population.
“Kaduna State Government has attracted a total investment portfolio of $4,488,000,000, comprising actualized and announced investments, and has created 75,750 direct and indirect jobs, in the last seven years,” according to El-Rufai.
The journey began in 2016 when the state held its first Economic and Investment Summit, tagged KadInvest 1.0, which attracted 25 local and foreign investments worth $500 million.
Subsequently, the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency developed an investment regulation framework to drive Public Private Partnership to facilitate investment across multiple sectors.
During the KadInvest 2.0 in 2017, Kaduna state government unveiled its 2016-2020 Development Plan and SIP as vehicles for achieving SDGs through the annual budgetary framework.
Thus, the state’s annual budget had since then, largely funded infrastructure development
Some of the key investments attracted to the state in 2017 include Olam Poultry and Feed Mill, Mass Housing at Millennium City, KADICT, etc.
A 3-year MoU was also signed with USAID to help drive economic development in the state and also launch of the Eyes and Ears Citizen Engagement Platform.
Also, the KadInvest 3.0 in 2018 was used to unveil the state Infrastructure Master Plan (2018-2050). A total of 14+ investments were solidified through foreign and domestic investments.
The state attracted 79 per cent Foreign Direct Investment and 21 per cent Domestic Investment, including the new flagship Dangote Peugeot Automobile Plant while more focus was made to building human capital.
KadInvest 4.0 in 2019 brought about the operationalisation of the Kaduna Industrial Master Plan and improved the investment portfolio by 300 per cent.
It was during the event that the state launched into the Industry 4.0 phase focusing on developing knowledge-driven economy while revamping industries.
KadInvest 5.0 in 2020 was on “Infrastructure, industrialisation and innovation” and had the first Sub-National Virtual Economic and Investment Summit in Nigeria.
It launched the Oxford Business Group Kaduna Report and the Public Private Partnership Policy and Manual.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state grew its investment portfolio by over $500 million.
In 2021, the government focus was on promotion of knowledge-based economy through its 5-year Development Plan (2021-2025), which carries the blueprint showcasing where the state wants to be by 2025.
According to El-Rufai, the plan contains a “tourism catalogue to proactively showcase our tourist sites and investment opportunities to the international market.
”It also has the Skills for Prosperity plan, a demand driven Skills and Education Programme that will equip youths with high quality skills needed by industries,” he said.
In the last investment summit held from Oct. 13- Oct. 17, President Muhammadu Buhari commended the state for emerging the investment destination of choice in Nigeria.
He said it was a recognition of the state’s policy drive and consistency which made the business community to continue to bring more investments.
During the 7th edition of Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, various projects were opened to full business.
Some of the companies include Falgates Foods and Rice Mill, AFEX Aggregation and Processing Centre, the KASTLEA Vehicle Inspection Centre, Kaduna Galaxy Mall, and COP Fertilizer Company.
Others include a film village, three housing estates: Muwaffaq Estate, Nuru Siraj Estate and Rheyno Estate, and Amsco Neighbourhood Centre.
The event was rounded up with the launch of the new Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Charter 2022.
There was also the declaration of the state’s Green Economic Zone as a Special Economic Zone with Free Trade Zone Status and Operational License by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).
The state is angling to attract more investors by touting its population and infrastructure.
“Kaduna state is the third biggest consumer market in Nigeria, the third most populous state in Nigeria and has 52 per cent of Nigeria’s consumer market.
‘’Besides, Kaduna state is rich in mineral resources as it has over 25 non-oil mineral deposits, including gold, iron ore and marble,’’ the governor said during the KadInvest 7.0.
He also listed some of the major achievements of his administration, which include raking in N52 billion as Internally Generated Revenue in 2021 as against N11 billion in 2015.
These also include completion of roads and recreational facilities, construction and expansion of schools, launch of aerial services for drugs supply and completion of an additional 300-bed hospital in Kaduna.
According to El-Rufai, what the state has been doing is to become more innovative and resilient against global economic shocks by harnessing its comparative advantages to build the confidence of investors.
As part of its future plans, the state is eyeing N20 trillion investments by 2050, raise investment in agriculture to contribute 40 per cent of overall state GDP by 2025.
It also wants at least 10 per cent share of electronics sector; 10 per cent in Motor Vehicle Assembly sector; 20 per cent penetration of renewables, and increase electricity grid by at least 400 MW.
The government also plans to formalize artisanal mining to capture unaccounted mining activities in the state and their corresponding revenue generation.
It also wants to revive brown field textile industries and improve support services provided to cotton farmers.
Other areas are innovation via ICT in the areas of Agriculture, Manufacturing and Education.
Expanding road network and provision of inter and intra transportation scheme, and exploring opportunities in rail freight transport between major industrial sites in the state. (NANFeature)
***If used, please credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)