Nasarawa partners ABS Blueprint to build technology village with N22bn
ABS Blueprint Limited, a cutting-edge firm providing solutions to modern-day industrial needs has signed a joint venture agreement with the Nasarawa State Government for the establishment of the Nasarawa Technology Village in Aso-Pada, Karu Local Government Area of the state.
The project, which is expected to provide 15000 direct jobs, as well as 60, 000 indirect jobs, is estimated at Twenty Two Billion Naira (N22 billion).
During the ceremony at the Government House in Lafia, Ibrahim Abdullahi, managing director and CEO, Nasarawa Investment and Development Agency (NASIDA) and Agassi stood in for the state government, while Suleiman, GMD ABS Blueprint Limited, signed on behalf of the consortium.
Speaking shortly after the signing of the MoU between the government and representatives of the firm, the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, said the Nasarawa Technology Village was conceived in line with the idea behind the Silicon Valley in California, aimed at attracting major international Information Technology firms to the state.
According to Sule, the concept of the technology village was captured in his administration’s Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), with the site for the project selected because of its proximity to the Federal Capital.
He explained that the choice of ABS Blueprint Limited as the partner for the project, underwent a rigorous evaluation and assessment process, with the investors injecting over N20bn in the project.
Governor Sule, therefore, instructed the firm to commence work at the project site immediately, to create employment opportunities for youths in the state and stressed that, even though the Silicon Valley was built over twenty years, his administration is, however, determined to leave a legacy for the future.
“We don’t have twenty years to spend here. For that reason, it must start small. Go and start the process, let the people see the employment opportunities that you are bringing, let them see the funding you are putting into the project,” he stated.
The governor however pointed out that the partnership is not an opportunity for government officials to lay hands on money since Nasarawa State is not expanding a kobo on the project.
In a remark, Muhammad Yamusa Suleiman, group managing director, ABS Blueprint Limited said, his company has brought together a formidable consortium of partners and industry professionals, in the quest to develop the Nasarawa technology village.
Suleiman disclosed that the proposed technology village is sitting on 66,000 hectares of land, comprising a tech hub at the core, to be operated by the Decagon Learning Institute, which will provide fully handed training for up to 2000 students on IT.
He added that Decagon would also secure and outsource IT jobs for the graduates upon completion of the program and becoming certified software engineers.
According to the GMD, the project also has an innovative, high-rise housing scheme, including blocks of 2&3 bedroom bungalows, as well as 1&2 bedroom flats, making a total of 1500 housing units, located on 10 hectares of land.
He explained that the tech village would include a commercial centre, school, hospital, and religious centres.
Suleiman commended the selection process, which he described as engaging, highly competitive, and transparent and a testimony of the exemplary leadership being provided by the governor.
“You have set the bar high in good governance and the ease of doing business between the public and private sector,” he said.
The group managing director said his consortium is injecting N22bn in the project, to be funded by ABS Blueprint Limited, through the firm’s group of financiers.
Sonny Agassi, director-general, Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS) said, the event marks another watershed in the history of PPPs, with the agreement further placing Nasarawa State on the map of states attracting investors.