Opinion:How Kwara has become Nigeria's new investment haven, By Bashir Adigun
Kwara State has emerged as the new destination for investors and not an abode for criminals. The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, who has detailed reports of insecurity in the country, attested to the impressive national rating of Kwara as the most peaceful and best secured State in Nigeria during his recent official working visit to Kwara State.
Evident indicators of the State as an emerging investors’ destination includes the daily increase in flights to and from the State as a result of a number of new efforts aimed at promoting the ease of doing business by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq .
The State government, among other things, seized the bull by the horns, working with security agencies to address some of the security breaches in the State.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has taken bold steps to equip the Police with new vehicles and renovated their barracks.
The newly established Kwara State Residence Agency now has a mandate not only in planning but also identifying strangers, migrants and criminal elements daring to sneak in from neighbouring states.
In addition to aggressive and concerted efforts to secure lives and property, the governor is also opening the state to new investors with the construction of new roads across the State.
From the remotest part in Baruten local government area in Kwara North to many communities in Kwara South and Ilorin, the State capital, all communities inaccessible by investors and travellers are now being open to the World with construction of new roads and rehabilitation of old ones in bad condition.
Four domestic Airlines are now operating from the Airport following an increase in the number of passengers coming into the State.
Not only that, the governor's Ease of Doing Business has attracted an international Nigerian business giant, Alhaji Rabiu Abdul Samad to build a multi-billion naira sugar factory in Lafiaji. This is in addition to existing corporate businesses like Lubcon Oil, Tuyil Pharmaceutical Company and others that are doing well in the state.
The BUA multi billion naira investment has rekindled and activated hopes for employment opportunities for thousands of teeming youths in the state and revenue for the state government.
The ongoing construction of a garment factory is another source of employment and demonstration to investors that Kwara is Open for unlimited business opportunities and investments.
The factory, when completed, will provide about 3,000 jobs for indigenes and non indigenes of the State. It is the same for the new oncology centre for the treatment of cancer at the General hospital, Ilorin, which is the first of its kind in North-Central Nigeria.
This will, no doubt, stem the trips to take care of cancer patients abroad and open the State for medical tourism. The ongoing construction of a state-of-the-art International Conference Centre in Ilorin has excited leading stakeholders in the tourism industry as an innovation capable of attracting tourists into the State.
At the moment, only Abuja, Nigeria's Federal Capital has such a standard International Conference Centre in the whole of the country.
It is believed by experts in the industry that Kwara will provide a better choice for multinational institutions and international agencies willing to organise world class meetings in the State.
The Conference Centre will have a world class hotel, standard swimming pool and shopping mall. This will also provide job opportunities for residents of the state, besides leading to the development of tourist sites in the State capital, Ilorin.
There is no doubt Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has opened the state for investments with the provision of infrastructure and ease of doing business. He has provided the right environment to attract investors into the State.
While no state may be completely free of criminal elements, given the rate of urbanisation, unemployment problem and challenges of population explosion – especially in the cities, the State government is working round-the-clock with security agencies to curb security breaches.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has put things in place to ensure that Kwara is a top investment destination in Nigeria. Patriotic Kwarans, at home and abroad, and willing investors are hereby assured that Kwara State remains the most peaceful, secured state in Nigeria and investors’ destination in the country.
Bashir Adigun is the special adviser, Political Communications to the Kwara State governor.