Governor of Bauchi wooing Chinese investors
Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi State has called on the Chinese government to take advantage of the administration’s reforms to invest in the state.
The governor made the disclosure while speaking during a Business Summit meeting at Government House, Bauchi, attended by the Ambassador of China, Cui Juanchan, and both local and international investors.
With over 4 million hectares of arable land, the governor said the policies of his administration have made Bauchi State one of the most attractive states to currently invest in Nigeria.
The fifth largest in terms of area at 45,893 and seventh most populous state in the country close to eight million, Governor Mohammed told Chinese and local investors why the state holds the greatest potential for investments, especially in agriculture.
“Our livestock potentials at the moment at the rudimentary and traditional level is over 2.2 million heads of cattle, 3.5 million sheeps,5.2 million goats, 8 million poultry and tonnes of fish annually,” he said.
The governor urged the Chinese government to deploy its technology used for importation o fish to revive the struggling pilot fishery project in the state.
He said he would be glad if the technology was made available to investors coming to invest in fishery in the state to boost fish production in the state.
He disclosed that the state has quality value chain chain in terms of sorghum, soya beans, cowpea, tomatoes,sweet potatoes, seismic seeds and so on which runs into millions of naira .
He said the administration was planning to establish a proper stock system where excess produce of farmers is purchased to improve their lot.
“We have so much excess to hervest but in terms of storage we do have much capacity,” he observed.
“We need silos and if we can do it together with the Chinese, we can begin to export our local produce,” he told the Ambassador.
He appealed to the Ambassador to look into some old dams in the state with a view to reinvigorate them to boost agricultural production in the state.
He said the State has untapped rivers along the Gongola, Dindima and other locations where dams can be built to enhance agriculture.
He said the farmers in the downstream have been assured of protection of their farmlands, adding that the state government is in partnership with the federal government to boost farming along those areas.
“Without the surface water management, there is no way we can enhance agriculture,” he stated
“But we need technology, we need human resources, we need management,” he said.
Mohammed said his administration has done quite a lot to attract and retain investments in the state in the last three years.
With over 55 ethnic groups and Hausa as the main language of communication, the governor said Bauchi is adjudged the most peaceful state in the north right now.
“We have occupied the fourth position in terms of ease of doing business among the 36 states in the federation,” he said.
“Recently we have moved up to the fourth position because of the way and manner we are carrying out reforms and policies,” he said.
The governor said his administration’s reforms and policies have made it easy for investors to come establish business within two weeks.
He said there is easy access to land to carry out investment in terms of land registration.
With an international airport, Governor Mohammed explained that the travel time has been improved due to improved security of the state.
“The scourge of corruption has been addressed in terms of access to land and approval,” he stressed.
Other measures taken by the administration to attract and retain business in the state include all round intelligent gathering, he said.
“This goes on in every nook and cranny of the state, including community policing,” he said.
“We have visited all emirs and stakeholders which we cherish and this has brought inclusion and enhanced our social cohesion”
He said there arebmany areas to invest in the state, but the key ones his administration is talking about include agriculture, energy, natural resources water resources tourism, environmental sustainability, and physical infrastructure.
He said the strategic location of Bauchi State as the gateway of the northeast makes it even more attractive for investments especially in agriculture.
“We want the Chinese government to come and work with us in terms of building dams for irrigation,” he appealed.
In his response, the Chinese Ambassador revealed that he was impressed with element of good governance of the Mohammed’s administration.
He said agriculture is the key to conquering hunger and commended the state government for taking numerous initiatives to fight hunger by reducing poverty through reforms in agriculture.
He assured that the Chinese government was ready to invest in the state in view of the huge potentials in agriculture and the willingness of the administration to attract investments through needed reforms and policies.
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.