What You Need To Know About The Just Concluded Southern Kaduna Economic Summit Which Was Held On December 1, 2016
The chairman planning committee for the Summit in person of Audu Maikori opened the Summit by addressing the congregation on why the summit was organised and what the planning committee intended to achieve at the end of the Summit.
The MC introduced the speakers and government dignitaries present.
His excellencey, the acting Governor of Kaduna State, Arc Barnabas Yusuf Bala Bantex represented by Barr Idris Umar was called to give his goodwill message. He encouraged and appreciated the convener of the Summit for a work well done. He continued by telling the congregation that the state has provided job to her teeming youth.
Read the full text below:
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE ACTING GOVERNOR OF KADUNA STATE, ARC.BARNABAS YUSUF BALA BANTEX AT THE SOUTHERN KADUNA ECONOMIC SUMMIT HELD AT TOP GALAXY HOTEL, SABON TASHA, KADUNA ON THURSDAY 1ST DECEMBER, 2016.
I wish to begin by commending the Organisers of this Economic Summit for seeing the need for us to come together and discuss on the economic fortunes of Southern Kaduna and how to exploit the untapped economic opportunities God endowed us with in this part of the state.
There is no better time for the sons and daughter of Southern Kaduna to come together and share ideas about our common wealth and how best to shape our common destiny than now that the entire country is faced with harsh economic realities owing to dwindling revenue and myriads of security challenges affecting the economy.
Southern Kaduna is endowed with abundant natural resources; we are blessed with vast arable land that can optimally grow all kinds of food and economic crops. With improve and modernized agricultural practices we can increase our contributions in feeding the nation and in providing raw materials to industries within and outside the country. The agriculture sector holds for us a comparative advantage capable of providing jobs to our teeming youths who are migrating into the cities to compete for few available white collar jobs.
The rate of unemployment and poverty in the country is alarming. And it is a known fact that there is a strong nexus between poverty and joblessness with the security challenges we are facing in this part of the state and the entire country. There has been a rise in cases of kidnapping, oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism, terrorism and cattle rustling. In Southern Kaduna we have cases of rural banditry and violent attacks that ravages communities and live untold pains to those affected. We are concerned as a government because lives are loss, properties destroyed. This trend reverses progress and slows the development we are seriously working to achieve. They also scar away investors we are working to bring into the state.
Ladies and gentlemen, as a government we have identified the need to create economic opportunities for our teeming youths who form larger part of our population. Our policies and efforts are geared towards encouraging the private sector to lead in creating job opportunities.
That is why we showcased to the world the untapped economic opportunities of Kaduna State to the world through the Kaduna Investment Summit KADINVEST. We followed by creating the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) to serve as one-bus stop for all investment process.
We have also launched policies towards making Kaduna a business destination in the country. We recently launched the Business Licencing Reform (BLR) to make it easier for micro, small and medium scale business to thrive in the state. All these are geared toward revamping the economy of Kaduna state.
Today in Kaduna we are beginning to have investors who are indicating their interest in establishing business in Kaduna. Not only will their presence in Kaduna create jobs opportunities for our youths and provide revenue to the government by paying tax, but commercial activities will be heightened in the state. In Chikun Local Government, Olams Groups is investing 30billion naira to build the biggest Poultry and Feed Mills in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Southern Kaduna Vicampro, an indigenous company is investing 120million dollar to build potato farm and processing plant. Also in the agric sector, Dangote is investing 10 billion naira in a tomato farm and processing plant. In addition to providing jobs to thousands of youths, there will be ready market for local farmers in these communities.
Ladies and gentlemen, His Excellency Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has seen the need to turn the Kagoro hills into a World-Class Tourist Site and government is already discussing the design and construction of the site with Julius Berger. His Excellency the governor has directed that access road should be constructed to the hill with immediate effect, 300 million Naira was budgeted for that in 2016, but the renewed security challenges around Southern Kaduna is the only thing holding the contractors back but soon work will start in earnest.
Following the discovery of Nickel in Dangoma, Kaninkon Chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government, His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State has mandated relevant ministries to provide basic infrastructure in the community in anticipation of population boom that often come with economic activities. The government is also talking with the mining company on how the youths of the community will be train to play a significant role in the mining process to avoid repeat of the hostilities that we are currently experiencing in the Niger Delta region.
All these demonstrate the resolve of this administration in transforming the economy of Kaduna State. But our efforts to provide jobs and empower our people economically can only be achieved in a peaceful environment. We all need to make our contribution to create and sustain harmony, and jointly confront criminality, division and violence. Reducing everything to religion and ethnicity is to mire our people in backwardness. Relating to our neighbours and other members of the diverse communities that make up this state with a victim mentality is not progressive. Constantly ascribing malice and ill-will to others says more about the person that has such a mind-set. Using religion as a platform to spread lies, encourage division and invoke hatred of others is most unfortunate.
We must speak honestly and frankly to each other as only friends and family can. Encouraging self-help, reprisals and vengeance is nothing but incitement to criminal conduct. We are deeply pained by the lives lost and the property damaged in the on-going violence. This makes peace-building more urgent. We are encouraged by the return of peace in the Jos area, where the feuding communities now appear to be abiding by their commitment to peace. We hope that we can achieve a similar level of understanding in the ongoing dialogue among communities and win a sustainable peace.
Distinguish ladies and gentlemen; this government is ready to work with every individual and organisation for the development of the state.
It is my hope that this summit will contribute immensely towards developing the economic fortunes of Southern Kaduna and the entire state. It is on this note that I would like to conclude by calling on all relevant stakeholders in southern Kaduna to work for the peace and economic prosperity of the area, and our Kaduna state at large. We all have a stake in making Kaduna great again.
Thank you for listening.
The Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Manzo Daniel Maigari opened the panel with the topic “Investment Opportunities in Agriculture”. The commissioner made some critical points, some of them are as follows:
a. If we see politics outside of Economic, we will soon perish.
b. I hear about SK being marginalized and i laughed, when there is sweet potato farm in Kaura where else do we have investment as such?
c. We also have ginger mixing plant in SK.
d. You hear people saying oh! government has come to takeover our land. A land that have stayed for more than 500 years without being cultivated?
e. Everybody know that Ginger is the highest valued crop in Kaduna and rumored of being the best in the world.
f. My call to the SK people is that we need a tight mesh otherwise even this investment that we have will disappear.
g. I will never forgive myself if i leave office today without impacting SK
Dr Manuel also said that the entire ginger consumed in the whole of Asia comes from Kaduna State, “Southern Kaduna”. He said that if you can’t make it in SK, you can’t make it in any other place.
He said Kaduna is the biggest deposit of gold in the whole world. He also said that Kaduna State supplies 29% of the total grains Nigeria needs.
Many more were discussed at the Summit which i cannot write here due to time constraints and space.