BRITAIN has offered to assist Nasarawa State in attracting investment into its agriculture and solid minerals sector as well as help with developing its infrastructure as part of a programme to enable the state become self-reliant.
Most of Nigeria’s state are wholly dependent on federal allocations for their survival because they do not generate enough revenue internally and lack the infrastructure to attract investment. However, with the global crude oil market is a flux, Nigeria can no longer rely on the export of petroleum exports, so its 36 states need to start generating their own revenue to at least meet their running costs.
Yesterday, Catriona Laing, the UK high commissioner to Nigeria, paid a courtesy visit to the Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, at Government House, Lafia, to make the point. During the visit, Ms Laing expressed the UK’s readiness to partner with Nasarawa State in the areas of agriculture, mining and infrastructural development.
Ms Laing said: “There is also a good potential for mining in Nasarawa State and it has a very unique posture and comparative advantage especially with its proximity to Abuja. Getting in place the rightful enabling environment is key and how quickly Nasarawa jumped through the ranks to number three in investment flow in the country is quite amazing, so therefore, we would look for areas to partner with Nasarawa State.”
Governor Sule replied that Nasarawa State has developed a public private forum which has been a veritable tool to foster private sector investment in the state. According to the governor, plans have been initiated to raise money for investment in infrastructure.
He added: “The state secured radical projects in education, transportation, health, mining and agriculture. We have established the Nasarawa State Infrastructural Fund where 5% of our internally generated revenue would be dedicated mainly for infrastructural development.”