The inaugural edition of the Nasarawa Investment Summit (#NIS2022), which is themed “#DiamondintheRough – The Making of a New Investment Frontier”, is to be held this month in what the state government hopes will position it as a preferred investment destination within Nigeria.

The two-day Summit holding on 11th and 12th May, 2022 in Lafia, the state capital, according to briefs on it, will “serve as a platform to present credible and bankable investment opportunities that are market-ready for investors engagement”. The state government also says the summit will foster closer collaboration and partnership between the private sector and the government in building a stronger business environment in Nasarawa State.

Speakers expected at the summit include John Dramani Maham, former president of Ghana, Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido a former CBN Governor, Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, and Mansur Mukhtar, vice president, Country Operations, Islamic Development Bank.

Highlighting some of its competitive advantages as an investment destination, Nasarawa State says it has shown great promise over the years, overcoming numerous roadblocks as it inches toward its vision of becoming Nigeria’s top investment destination.

Nasarawa State, according to a briefing document, is home to abundant natural resources and minerals; it is strategically located in the middle belt of Nigeria, and lies within the North Central geopolitical zone of the Country. With a total land area of 26,875.59 square kilometers and a population of about 2.5 million people, Nasarawa State shares a boundary with Kaduna state in the North, Plateau State in the East, Taraba, and Benue states in the south while Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory flank it in the West.

Mineral resources said to be available in Nasarawa State are limestone, iron ore, crude oil and natural gas, barite, gold, gypsum, kaolin, marble, and lead/zinc. The State says it is endowed with some gold deposits which occur in pegmatite-quartz veins within Precambrian basement rocks in Wamba. The Metasedimentary rocks in Toto, Udegbe, Gadabuke, Laminga, and Nasarawa also contain some gold deposits.

Other varieties of gemstones available are; aquamarine, emeralds, sapphire, ruby, topaz, tourmaline, zircon, and almandine.

“By creating concrete business partnerships, allowing both domestic and foreign investors to tap into investment opportunities in the State, these economic opportunities can be explored to realise sustainable economic growth for the State and its private sector partners,” read one of the summit’s briefs.

Its proximity to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, is also described as a real estate opportunity, with Karu and Keffi said to have the potential to tap from the economic and social opportunities in neighbouring Abuja. The state says these locations can provide adequate and affordable housing options for low and middle-income earners working in the FCT.

The recently completed Karu Mega Bus Terminal, it says, can accommodate more than 900 buses and 20,000 people daily, as well as the proposed Abuja-Keffi rail line, which can provide another option to move residents between Nasarawa State and Abuja daily.

The state is also counting on its tourist attractions, including the Mada Hills and Rukubi Hills, both at Akwanga, to Ava and Eggon Hills, Efugogiri Hills and Mail Rumba Rock at Doma, to the Farin-Ruwa Waterfalls at Wamba, to Captain Maloney Hills at Keffi and then Numa rock at Akwanga.

Expected Outcomes from the summit include building and enhancing private sector involvement in good governance and policy making, especially as it involves the delivery of the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), and also provide an inclusive platform and methodology that promotes the participation of all key stakeholders in its implementation. Also, form development partnerships with public and private sector players that will stimulate production and have a developmental impact across the state; identify impediments and obstacles to investments in Nasarawa State from the perspectives of governments, investors, international finance institutions, and businesses.

Expectedly, the state will be showcasing what it calls multi-sectoral project-specific opportunities available to investors in the, and invariably, attracting investment from local and foreign investors to facilitate projects and programs that will unlock sustainable socio-economic development of Nasarawa.

Source : Business Day