Nasarawa on the path to sustainable development

Governor Abdullahi Sule

Governor Abdullahi Sule is using every economic arsenal at his disposal to put the state on the throes of economic recovery. MOHAMMED YANGIDA reports.

Nasarawa state is fast becoming an investors’ haven in the entire North-central geopolitical zone and the country at large.

In the views of analysts, the state needs people like Governor AbdullahiSule who understands how to structure businessesso that it can be seen clearly where the initiative began, the benefits and value additionfor the people gain from its projects.

The governor had stressed the resolve of his administration to diligently and selflessly serve the people through deliberate policies by executing programmes that would bring development to all the nooks and crannies of the state.

He stressed that the economy of the state and overall well-being of the people are the main thrusts of his administration.

Reforms so far

Some of the reforms being introduced by the governor include wooing investors into the state, creating enabling business environment, building new infrastructure, creating sound policies on fiscal responsibility and transparency with the view of turning around the state’s economy and translate into more jobs for the indigenes.

He is equally determined to build a better future for the state as he continuously focuses on promoting industrialisation of the state in order to be prepared to receive beneficial investment and numerous strategies aimed at improving a comparative business environment to attract both domestic and foreign investments with a view to reducing unemployment in the state.

Investigation reveals that some of these projects are essentially futuristicas they take time to mature, but with such unparalleled commitments, the people of state stand to benefit from this untiring, dogged determination to better their lots.

Borrowed from other examples

To that extent, the governor is now looking forward to replicating a business ideaas done in other places so that majority of those industries would be created in the state by borrowing from what happened in Lagos state after the West African Gas Pipeline was taken from Escravosto go through Ghana,Togo and other countries.

“Infact, Lagos state was initially not a factor along the pipeline route, but investors brought up the idea of tapping the pipeline from Shagamu to Lagos and the result was that majority of industries using LFPO all converted to gas leading to the construction of another line into Lagos.”

In 2019, the federal government awarded the contract for the construction of the gas pipeline from the southern part of the country to the north in which Nasarawa state is uniquely positioned to maximise the value of the AKK pipeline as well as business opportunities based on gas.

The National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC),Gas Aggression Company of Nigeria (GACN) andNasarawa state government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)for the supply of gas to industries and investors in Nasarawa state, given its strategic position in the passage of the Ajaokuta, Kaduna,Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.

The group managing director (GMD) of the NNPC, MalamMeleKyari,explained that the whole idea about the federal government’s gas master plan,is to make sure that the abundant gas resources available in the country is not only made available to every part of Nigeria, but that the country can also earn money from exportation of gas.

According to him, “The singing of the MoU became necessary because the AKK wouldpass through Nasarawa state which has the advantage to utilise the gas passing through its land.” 

He stressed that the NNPC would cooperate with Nasarawastate government to deliver value to the people of the state.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was witnessed by the state governor, AbdullahiSule; NNPC group managing director, MalamMeleKyari; gas and power group chief executive officer NNPC, Mohammed Abdulkabir Ahmed, chief executive officer (CEO) MrBolaji  Osunsanya, among others.

He said 90 percent of pipelines for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna, Kano AKK gas project have already been acquired with the complete pipelines expected to be delivered in January next year with enormous progress made laying the pipes from Warri all the way to Kano.

Speaking at the event, GACN managing director MrOlalekanOgunleye said that the collaboration between the Nasarawa state government, NNPC and GACN has established a clear framework through which investors and projects in the state would access to gas immediately.

“Obviously, NNPC management continues to promote the commercialisation of gas resources as a national economic development issue,while GACN and other NNPC subsidiaries such as NGMC, NGC have well-defined roles and responsibilities to generate concrete progress and value.”

Governor Sule however appealed to the indigenes of the state to take advantage of opportunities in the gas value chain such as gas distribution, CNG stations, captive/embedded power generation,LPG marketing gas flare commercialisation, among others.”

More MoU to put Nasarawa on sound footing

Meanwhile, Governor Sule has signed a separate joint venture agreements with three investors in agribusiness and retail.

This addition is geared towards transforming the economy of the state which would enhance the internal revenue generation.

The investors involved in the agreements are Vertmance Resources Ltd and Silvex International Ltd, for agribusiness, Barlow and Barrow International Ltd, for the establishment of retail and recreational centre in Karu estimated to cost N2bn and Oasotech and Design for cassava industrial plant in Azuba.

The governor therefore urged the investors to focus on key performance indicators for the projects in order to ensure strict adherence to the timeline to deliver the projects. He urged both parties involved in the joint venture to do their best in the area of implementation.

The highlight of the agreements includes the Karu Retail and Recreational Centre for the development of the Karu mall with Shoprite as an anchor tenant; the Azuba Cassava Processing Plant that would explore end-to-end value chain of cassava with focus on five products like ethanol, starch, high quality cassava flour, syrup sweetener and animal feeds.

Consequently, Sule urged those investors who ran out ofLafia, the state capital on account of unsteady power supply to come back and invest, saying that the Lafia-Akurba 330KVA substation is ready for commissioning.

He said with the substation already energised, all that remains is to schedule a date for the project to be commissioned.

He explained further that from the designs of the project, two lines were dedicated to Lafia the state capital with the substation designed to have a total of six lines- one line to Doma, Akwanga,Keana local government areas as well as Assakio community.

Investigation shows that if the potentials of the state are properly harnessed and utilizsed, the state could exist independent of monthly allocation from the federal government. This is the vision and mission of behind the development stride of Governor Abdullahi Sule.

For the record Sule’s  achievements and commitments so far includeKilema/Shinge road completed, Abuja street/Al-makura street completed, AliyuAkweDomaBanguet Hall completed, New Presidential Lodge completed, Erosion control unit behind Lafia Rice Mill completed, Karu Peninsula Estate completed, 350- capacity Lafia Terminal Bus Station at Bukasidi 98 percent completed.

The facility would comprise a terminal building, drivers lounge, public toilets,a petrol station,service yard,restaurants and ATM points, among others. The project was awarded at the cost of N1.2billion.

Also Karu bus terminal station 97 percent completed, SisiBankiFarinRuwa 15.5 kilometre road is under construction, AbuniKanje road is under construction, Obi Asssakio road is under construction, Agwarashi- Agaza Bridge is under construction, NasarawaEggon Modern market under construction.

Gudi Moro road under construction, Akwanga Neighborhood market under construction, Agwada township road under construction, MarabanUdege 25 km road under construction, AngoroBassa road under construction, Antaubridge under construction, among others.