• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Gombe State is leading a charge towards economic recovery in Nigeria’s northeast region and highlighting its own potential through the inaugural investment summit that was recently held.

The summit, according to the state, is its way of taking deliberate steps to shape itself into an attractive investment destination and draw investors.

Boasting a comparative advantage in agriculture, commerce and availability of natural resources like limestone, gypsum, uranium, coal, oil and gas, according to Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe State governor, said Gombe also boasts of “great potentials in irrigation and hydropower generation”.

In a televised address seen by BusinessDay, he said “Gombe has captured the imagination of traders, and business caravans from within and outside Nigeria. Our position is boosted by our strategic location at the centre of the northeast sub-region and proximity to neighbouring countries around the Lake Chad basin.”

The investment summit, according to briefs ahead of its hosting, focused on providing investors with knowledge, insights, and resources. The summit had the objective of addressing key financial topics, investment strategies, and perspectives on the state’s economy, featuring insights and analysis from various government units.

Expected outcomes included; heightened commitment and actions to expedite the implementation of Gombe state’s 10-year development plan; adoption of actions for high level engagement on implementation of quick wins; deliberate preliminary engagement of investors in five key sectors and; adoption of investments strategies.

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“This summit is ensuring the state tells the world we are ready for business, attract investors to the state and create jobs for the teeming population,” said Ishaku Mohammed, special adviser to the state governor on budget, planning, and development partners coordination office. “It is a strategy to achieve the goals encapsulated in the state’s 10-year development plan.”

Muhammad Magaji, Gombe commissioner for finance, said the state has been working in recent years to be investors-ready. He highlighted the state’s financial reforms and how it has been able to block leakages, increased internally generated revenues to augment dwindling central allocations, while reducing recurrent expenditure and increasing capital projects, and investing more in infrastructure.

“This has helped investors to have more confidence in the state, because the environment is now ready. We have better roads, electricity, water, and healthcare,” said Magaji. “If you are well, you are able to do business, and that is one of the reasons why we came top in the ease of doing business in 2021.”

He said in indices on infrastructure, security, and availability of skilled labour, the state came tops, preparing the state for investment, along with other reforms it has been implementing. “We’ve been able to get our people ready, encouraging our business people and now we believe (other) people should come in to complement what our businesses are doing in Gombe state so that we can be able to move to the next level,” said Magaji.

The summit brought investors together to share fresh insights and strategies that will improve the investment potential of Gombe State. It sought to answer questions on the current perceptions of the state, areas of investment opportunities and how investments can be executed, among others.