How Sokoto Can Secure FDI – US, UK, Others
Investment-favourable legislation, commitment to transparency and good governance and unveiling of bold vision backed by timeline for implementation are some of the key requirements needed to boost investments in states of the country.
Similarly, states like Sokoto must actively engage in data mapping because success of public institutions depend not only on the possession of resources, but on the efficient application of sound management principles based on accurate data utilisation.
These and more, were the position of local and international investment and development agencies who attended a two-day business opportunity forum organised by the Sokoto State government which ended yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of the summit, Sokoto Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the dwindling resources in the country has made it imperative for states to look to private investment to survive.
He said Sokoto cannot afford to allow its income determined by hydro-carbon prices which he said from forecasts, will likely remain low for the foreseeable future.
While disclosing that Sokoto is open to foreign investment because all necessary incentive are been put in place, Tambuwal said the state has comparative advantage in sectors like agriculture, tourism, mining and power generation.
In his remarks, Olivier Dellefosse, Mission Director of the French investment agency AFD, said they are ready to provide loans to the proposed micro-finance banks which Sokoto government is about to set up.
The main areas of concern for AFD, according to the Director, is power generation, transmission and distribution, urban development, support for SMEs and agriculture. He said the agency will explore areas of cooperation with the Sokoto government for the mutual benefit of the two entities.
On their parts, both the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) spoke of their readiness to partner with the Sokoto government for development of key sectors.
They promised to provide technical assistance and expertise where necessary, adding that where their is transparency and good governance, foreign investors will be willing to look.
In his presentation, CEO of Aso Savings and Loans Ltd, Malam Hassan Usman, said they are willing to build 4,000 housing units in Sokoto in the next four years if the government will provide land and guarantee buyers.
On his part, the Managing Director of Nigeria’s Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr. Uche Orji, said Sokoto must leverage on the peace it is presently enjoying to sell its credentials to the outside world.
Other speakers at the conference, which was attended by government officials and members of the state House of Assembly, include Keith Hammond, DFID’s Senior Infrastructure Advisor, Michael Harvey, USAID’s Country Director, malam Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq of the Private Sector Alliance of Nigeria and Malam Kabiru Rabiu, Executive Director at BUA Group.