By Ismaila Uba Misilli
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya recently inaugurated the Gombe Investment Summit (GoInvest2022) Steering Committee tasked the responsibility of planning and staging the upcoming 1st Gombe State Investment Summit proposed for October this year under the theme: ‘industrialization, the Pathway to innovation, Transformation and Development of Gombe State.
The Committee, which is under the chairmanship of the Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau has as members: Malam MK Ahmad, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi- the Secretary to the Gombe State Government, Dr Umaru Kwairanga – Chairman, Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Ltd, Haruna Jalo Waziri – Managing Director/CEO, Central Securities Clearing Systems Plc, Muhammad K Ahmed, Muhammed Gambo Magaji, Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development, Nasiru Muhammad Aliyu, Commissioner of Trade, Investment and Tourism, the representative of Onyx Consultants and Dr Ishiyaku Mohammed Special Adviser on Budget Planning and Development Partners Coordination who will serve as the secretary.
The steering committee has four terms of reference, which include providing strategic guidance in the actualization and successful hosting of Gombe Investment Summit.
Others are to liaise with government and private sector operators to ensure participation in the summit and to drive pre-summit engagements and post-summit follow-ups.
The GoInvest 2022 summit, aims to find, engage, and attract new investment leads, market Gombe as a top investment location, and facilitate interactions between potential investors and the state.
Business to Business and Business to Government meetings, Ready to Offer Investment Projects, Premium Land, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects, and other opportunities are all open to investors, financiers, investment facilitation agents, and companies interested in doing business with the Gombe State.
On the fringes of COP27, the Summit also hopes to facilitate agreements that would promote growth in key industries and demonstrate Gombe State’s leadership in the fight against climate change.
With the calibre, connection and pedigree of individual members of the committee, one has no doubt on their capability and wherewithal to deliver on the mandate of staging a successful event that will meet international standards.
Even though Governor Inuwa Yahaya urged them to take cogent steps to ensure the success of of GoInvest2022, it is manifestly clear that the proactive policies, projects, programmes and initiatives adopted by the Dan Majen Gombe since assuming office on May 29, 2019 will no doubt ensure the success of the investment summit moving forward.
It will not be far-fetched to acclaim Governor Inuwa Yahaya as ‘Mr Direct Investment’ given that he has midwifed an escalating scale of foreign and local direct investment to Gombe State by enabling a conducive environment for the incubation of businesses, firms and companies with low corporate taxes, availability of premium land, a one -stop business permit process, opportunities for public private partnership, ready to offer investment projects amongst other business-friendly policies meant to encourage corporate investment in the state. Thus it comes as scant surprise that Gombe has been rated as the number one in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking in Nigeria by the esteemed National Economic Council under the distinguished chairmanship of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo.
Also Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s zest for trade and investment is well known as he was about the only known state chief to have attended the prestigious Dubai Expo 2020 ( Oct 1 2021 -March 2022) in the United Arab Emirates were he visited the Nigerian Pavilion and met with prospective investors briefing them copiously on Gombe State’s potentials in agro-entrepreneurship, agro-allied, agro-processing and agro-marketing. Many a foreign businessman, investor, trade facilitator and even diplomats have been enthralled by the huge investment opportunities that Gombe State heralds mainly due to the infrastructural transformation, bureaucratic dynamism and the peace and stability ethos enabled by the progressive policies of the Governor. For instance, the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Baroness Catriona Laing has commended Governor Inuwa Yahaya for his ‘visionary leadership and his commitment to the delivery of democratic dividends to his people and said “l think this is an area where the UK and Gombe State can collaborate’. Alluding further Baroness Laing said: ‘l understand there is a plan for an investment summit in Gombe State, so l think that will be the next stage were we will encourage some participation from our Department of International Trade to get there and start looking at particular areas around the Industrial Park in order to work together and share ideas’.
Indeed, the construction of the gigantic 1000- hectares Muhammadu Buhari industrial Park that is billed to accommodate hundreds of firms, companies and industries and employ thousands of Gombe youths is a cornerstone of the industrial revolution engendered by the Inuwa Yahaya administration.
The Industrial Park will harness needed power supply from the previously moribund Dadinkowa Hydro-Electric Power Station which has been rehabilitated to perfect working condition with 40 Megawatts of electricity.
Another strategic project that will definitely boost the investment potentials of the Jewel in the Savannah is the Network Eleven Hundred Roads Project that is constructing at least 100 KMs of roads in each of the eleven local governments of the state thus ensuring that a seamless road network is available for all investors for the movement of their personnel, goods and machinery.
The ranking of Gombe State as the most peaceful, secure and stable in Nigeria by Eons Intelligence and Statiscense, reputable security data analysis firms given the near total absence of violent crimes, kidnappings, banditry and terrorism and the relative calm and serenity pervading all parts of this lovely state will ensure that not only will GoInvest2022 be a resoundingly successful investment forum but Gombe State will remain the most favoured destination for local and foreign direct investment in Nigeria for decades and generations to come; thanks to Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s visionary disposition.
Misilli is the Director-General ( Press Affairs), Government House, Gombe