Foreign and local investors, development partners, financial institutions, including members of the business community have converged on Gombe for a three-day State Investment Summit, tagged ‘GoInvest.’
Speaking at the opening of the three-day summit in the north eastern state, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said Gombe State was open for business for both local and foreign investors, giving them the assurance of their safety and conducive environment for their businesses to thrive.
Yahaya expressed satisfaction with the response of investors and the business community, revealing that hundreds of investors have expressed interest to operate from the industrial park and many more areas within the State.
He said the state was blessed with vast economic potential, especially with its high rating as the Best in the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and the safest and most peaceful State in the North East.
“Our position is boosted by Gombe’s strategic location at the center of the north-east subregion and proximity to neighboring countries around the Lake Chad basin, enterprising and peace-loving population, unity in diversity, comparative advantage in agriculture, commerce, and abundance of natural resource like limestone, gypsum, uranium, coal, crude oil, kaolin, etc. Gombe also boasts of great potentials in irrigation and hydropower generation through the Dadin Kowa, Balanga and Cham dams” said Governor Yahaya.
The theme of the summit is “Industrialisation: the Pathway to Innovation, Transformation and Development of Gombe” and Governor Yahaya said the state was in partnership with local and international stakeholders to provide affordable financing for entrepreneurs, through the numerous empowerment programmes for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.
He said the state government was working to leverage on digital skills and opportunities to develop Gombe into a regional ICT hub to harness the creative energies of the youths.
Yahaya also said his administration was taking bold steps to address the three major issues affecting business creation and growth, which were security, access to finance, and electricity.
He observed that Gombe State had remained largely peaceful in spite of the Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges in the North East, because his administration accorded great priority to security of lives and property.
Yahaya said his administration recognised the role of electricity as the backbone of industrial development, by investing strongly in energy infrastructure in order to put Gombe on a strong industrial foundation.
“In addition to the 40MW Dadin Kowa hydroelectric power plant, we are also working on a 250 MW solar power plant in partnership with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, and another 100MW power plant under the Northern States Governors Forum renewable energy initiative. We are also partnering with UNIDO to harness the hydropower potentials of Balanga and Cham dams in order to power small agro-allied industrial clusters. With these initiatives, Gombe will lead the regional transition towards renewable energy, and achieve the required capacity to power its industrialization drive,” said Yahaya.
He said the memorandum of understanding to be signed during the summit with some leading local and international brands, would further demonstrate the success of the Gombe State Government’s efforts.
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Ease of Doing Business and Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, extolled the administrative ingenuity of Governor Yahaya and his cabinet for churning out realistic policies and plans that earned the State top spot in the ease of doing business in the country.
She said Gombe earned the top spot, not because of geographical location or any other consideration, but by what is being done, strong leadership and cohesion in the managerial circle which brought positive results.
Similarly, the Gombe State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Summit, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, said the summit was organized in order to showcase and highlight all the potentials and opportunities that abound to investors and convince them to come and do business in State.
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