By John Gaiya, Kaduna
Amidst biting economic hardship, President Muhammadu Buhari has restated the commitment of the Federal Government to create a prosperous nation that works for all citizens.
The President who made the commitment in his goodwill message to the opening of the second Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit in Kaduna said the creation of a prosperous economy would create sustainable jobs, stimulate economic activities and ensure national growth and development.
According to him, the federal government will continue to support the private sector to provide the needed investment to drive national economic growth, ensure prosperity and stability.
“That is why we launched a presidential committee to reduce the bottlenecks in doing business early in the life of this administration,” he said.
The President added that the committee’s task was to simplify the processes and procedures for starting and running a business, “so that the cobwebs of archaic bureaucratic and administrative tradition do not stifle initiative or exacerbate the cost of doing business.”
Speaking further, Buhari noted with satisfaction that Kaduna State was also replicating the ease of doing business policy, adding that the move was a clear understanding of the responsibilities of sub-national actors in the quest for national rebirth.
“If we succeed in making our state governments adopt to attracting investments, creating jobs, providing infrastructure and delivering much needed public goods like education, health and portable water, then we would have delivered a country that works for all our citizens,” he added.
According to him, the summit, with the theme `Making Kaduna the investment destination of choice’, would result in reliable partnerships that would promote economic prosperity for the people.
In his speech, the state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufa’i told the gathering that following the adoption of recommendations of the first summit, the state government had generated N18 billion internally revenue in 2016.
He added that the state had also major investments including the Olam $150 million poultry and livestock feed project, while exploration work continued for gold, nickel and other minerals.
“Our credentials as an investment destination are anchored on the human and natural resources in our state, as well as the policy and legal environment our government has created.
“At the inaugural edition of Kaduna Investment Summit, we presented the state development plan, explained our new, transparent tax code and demonstrated how digital land registry we are developing is critical to supporting investments.
“In 2016, these efforts earned us over N18bn in IGR, the highest ever in the state.
“As a sub-national actor, we established the link between our state development plan and the decision to prioritise agriculture and minerals as main investment sectors.
“And we are glad that, major investments resulted from Kaduna Investment Summit 2016, especially the Olam $150m poultry and livestock feed project.
“In mining, exploration work continues for gold, nickel and other minerals.
“Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit 2.0 seek to consolidate on the gains so far made.
“We shall be presenting our new Ease of Doing Business Charter, reflecting the hard work our MDAs have put into simplifying the process of obtaining licenses and shortening the time it takes to get a business running in Kaduna State”, he said.
The governor, who highlighted major achievements of his administration, also unveiled the plan of the government between 2017 and 2019.
By John Gaiya, Kaduna