Business Hilights
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North building world class agro economy capable of changing its narrative—BH Analysis

Clinical assessment of inflow in governments, foreign and indigenous investments in Nigeria in the last one year has shown that Northern Nigeria gained far more than other regions since the economic diversification regime of the present administration took off. The key factor driving the entire massive investment is far from favouritism but tied to availability of land and willingness of the people to welcome investments.

A review of strategic sustainable investments made so far in Nigeria either by public or private investors in the last two years has shown North West and Central gaining more than others both in financial capacity and quantum of jobs and employment generation.

Analysts said it would have been the same thing for North East but for security issues which are being gradually contained.

Dangote A
Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote group

Studies carried out by Business Hilights Economic Research Team (BHERT), the Business Intelligence Unit (BIU) of Business Hilights Publications can authoritatively report that in the last 24 months both in and out of recession, the drive is following two-way traffic including agro development and infrastructure.

In terms of infrastructure, inroads have been made in deepening railway system from the Lagos ports to the core northern agricultural and industrial hubs of Kano, Minna and Kaduna linking Abuja.

The survey also recorded that in the history of power projects in Nigeria, the recent agreement with Chinese Import-Export Bank, amounting to well over $5.8bn for the development of Mambila Power Station remain monumental.

Whereas the infrastructural development projects are coming even at a time relative peace is still an issue in the north, both governments and private sector investors are taking advantage of the observed political will at the top to boost every form of investment in agriculture.

Arewa logoAnalysts say the need to implement ‘Zero Oil Policy’ merged with the ‘sudden discovery’ that the north presents a better alternative to building agro economy due to vast arable land has shown that the narrative that North has nothing to offer will soon change to North is offering the most.

Observers also argue that by the time the economy of the north will be booming based on the unprecedented investments in agriculture, some regions including the west, East and South-South may be forced to change their narrative of agitations from restructuring to one indivisible Nigeria so as to get cheap food.

Statistics show that key investments inflow to crown the above analysis stemmed from among others; the multibillion naira Africa largest rice mill opened few weeks ago in Kebbi; multibillion naira Africa largest feeds mill opened  recently by president Muhammadu Buhari in Kaduna; the emerging Dangote’s 250,000 metric tons of rice mill coming soon in Kano; the recent multibillion naira Dangote’s Sugar factory in Niger State; the largest Africa’s poultry farm opened by Olam Group in Kaduna state; and yam revolution now going on along the Benue-Nasarrawa-Niger State belt which recently gave impetus to yam export for the first time in Nigeria.

Just as the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has entered into a N50bn agriculture financing partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank for the 2017 and 2018 dry and wet seasons mainly tailored to the north, the Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, says the bank has provided a total of N24bn to industrialists in Kano State.

He gave the figure on Sunday in Abuja during a meeting with the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

He stated that that the bank through the disbursement of the funds had generated about 96,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Small Medium Enterprises as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.

He said that the funds were disbursed through different funding windows such as the BoI/Kano State Government matching fund; the Bol-Dangote fund; and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (Market Moni).

Audu Ogbeh
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Dev, Chief Audu Ogbeh

It would be recalled that Lagos State government fired the first shot in two-state development initiative with Kebbi State which gave rise to Lake Rice now making waves in Lagos and other parts of the country.

The same Lagos state was in Kano State recently to study ways of boosting economic relations just like what it achieved with Kebbi State in Rice.

Moreover, several Northern States governors are not relaxing. Kebbi, Zamfara, Gombe and others are building Onions and groundnut empires silently.

In fact, some analysts have linked the early exit from recession to the monumental development investments in the north since this year.

Whereas many may think the investments are flowing because of the ‘origin’ of the current president, others see the developments as opportunity cost of the north over other regions by virtue of massive arable lands which had been lying fallow for too long.

No doubt, the truth of the matter is that the north may have just woken up at the right time and every indices are salutary to every level of investments going on there.

By all indications, BHERT can authoritatively say that the north can be said to be the first region to technically position itself intelligently for an economy without crude oil while the rest are either chasing the endless but destructive dusts of separatism which can only create more poverty than growth after all.

In South East, outside the Chinese investments in emerging Anambra Cargo Airport, Umuleri, the Governor’s home town, the rest four states recorded zero investment inflow in the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

However, the western states are sharpening their  tax nets and making good catches year-on-year and also boosting industrialization while the South-south is still not looking at the need to truly diversify except in some states like Akwa Ibom, Edo and Cross Rivers where some levels of industrial investments are being reported in recent times.

Olam KadunaBusiness Hilights report is further supported by latest report from the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo, who has said that Nigeria’s exports appreciation by 3.2 per cent confirmed that the present administration’s economic diversification is paying-off.

He was reacting to recent release by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, this is proof that the economy has indeed recovered from recession and on the way to sustainable growth.

The report, which covered seven sectors of agriculture, oil and gas, raw materials, solid minerals, manufactured goods, energy and other oil related goods, puts Nigeria’s total export value at N3.1 trillion in second quarter of 2017.

“It represented an increase of 3.2 per cent over first quarter of 2017 and a very significant 73.48 per cent over second quarter of 2016,” NEPC boss noted.