Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has emphasized the critical role digital economy is playing in diversifying the economy of the country, stressing that last year’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by digital economy was even higher than that of oil and gas.
Engineer Sule made this known while hosting a delegation from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), led by its Director, E-Government Development and Regulations, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, at the Government House, on Thursday.
While congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari, for the initiative, as well as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and the Director-General NITDA, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, for the good work they have been doing with NITDA, the Governor described the digtal economy as a huge going forward and improvement for Nigeria.
Speaking from his experience from the organized private sector, Engineer Sule said training on E-Governance will not only boost the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), improve speed of doing business in government but most importantly, ensures accountability and transparency in governance.
He added that Nasarawa State has all it takes to benefit from the digital economy.
“We are at the centre, closer to the centre of attraction. We should benefit because we have all it takes,” the Governor said.
Engineer Sule however appealed to Nasarawa State citizens who will benefit from the training on E-Governance, to replicate the training by retraining others, as according to him, that’s the only way the state will benefit from the training.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Director, E-Government Development and Regulations at NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said even though the agency has been able to do a lot at the federal level on the national digital economy, more needs to be done across the states and local governments.
Olatunji added that they were in Nasarawa State on the directives of the NITDA director general, for the agency to look into the state government’s priority areas and see how ICT can be used to drive the priority areas, especially in E-Governance.
While commending the Governor for his inroads in ICT, the NITDA director said they were not surprised at the level of success so far recorded, considering the experience of the Governor as a major private sector player.
“That’s why it’s really good to have technocrats at the helm of affairs in Nigeria,” Olatunji said.
Again, FG Increases PMS Price To N170 Per Litre
Global Times Nigeria reports that the Federal Government through the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed marketers to sell the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS ) for N170 per litre.
IPMAN’s instruction followed Thursday’s night announcement of N155 .17 ex-depot price to the marketers.
Abubakar Maigandi, IPMAN National Vice President, said: “The PPPMC ) last midnight told us that the ex-depot price is now N155. 17 per litre. We have directed our marketers to sell for N170 per litre.”
The IPMAN National Vice President also noted that the petrol price will still depend on the forces of demand and supply.
This is coming after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had not announced the price for two months because, according to it, the announcement always generates issues.
Abuja Based Food Company Expresses Readiness To Partner With NSG To Train 1, 500 Cassava Farmers
Pacific Ring West Africa, a food company based in Abuja, said it will partner with the Nasarawa State Government, to train 1,500 farmers from the state, for the cultivation of cassava which the company uses as raw material.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Thomas Hirsch, a German, disclosed this while on a courtesy call on Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, on Wednesday.
Hirsch disclosed that his company, in conjunction with the German Embassy’s development agency, the German Industrial Service, will send an expert on tropical agriculture, to train the 1, 500 on modern farm practice and give them the possibility to supply the company as off-takers.
He said his company, which is now exporting cassava chips to Europe, choose Nasarawa State because of it’s abundant land resources, availability of sweet cassava, as well as it’s proximity to the Federal Capital Territory.
“We want to group the farmers, organize them and them, give them the possibility to supply us on a regular basis.
“We will bring them to workshops in Abuja, there is so much the German government can offer through this PPP project,” Hirsch stated.
Hirsch explained that the idea for his company to expand was because of the need to create a product in the food industry that is sustainable all year round, adding that Pacific Ring West Africa is wiling to pay good price to the farmer.
While noting that development and value addition on local crops in Nigeria is not comparable with advanced methods as obtained in Indonesia where he does business, Hirsch said he came to Nigeria because it is one of the biggest producers of cassava in the world.
He said he got to know the idea of adding value to cassava, one of their main stable crop also, while in Indonesia.
“But we also know that there is a disconnect between farmers, off takers, infrastructure and market pricing demand, because what we see is that big industries are also buying on low level prices.
“Our idea was to create a product in the industry which is sustainable all year round, which means 365 days and we can also afford to pay a good average price for the crop to the farmer, so that the farmers are also enhanced and able to plan ahead,” he said.
Hirsch said with Nigeria having 600 to 700 different varieties of cassava, his company cited its factory in Abuja because of the available special variety of cassava with less starch which is suitable for use in the food industry.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, expressed willingness to partner with Pacific Ring West Africa, to train cassava farmers in the state, stressing that the gesture is not only apt but in line with the policy thrust of his administration.
Engineer Sule said Nasarawa State has both the land and human resources to produce any amount of cassava the company may require.
Speaking from his experience while in the organized private sector, the Governor however advised the company to consider backward integration by establishing their own farms in the state.
He listed Kokona, Wamba and Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Areas as major cassava producing areas, urging the company to consider acquiring land in these areas to set up their farms.
“In the interim, we welcome your idea of training our farmers to produce cassava for your factory and we are willing to support and partner with you,” Engineer Sule said.
As part of the visit, the management of the Pacific Ring West Africa, distributed food packs containing the company’s finished products that is being sold across Europe and within the country.
Engineer Sule Signs Investment, Mortgage Bills Into Law
In a bid to create enabling environment that will attract investors, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has signed the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency Bill 2020, as well the Nasarawa State Mortgage and Foreclosure Bill, into law.
Engineer Sule signed the two bills into law at a brief ceremony at the Government House, on Thursday.
The event was witnessed by members of the state executive council, the legislature led by the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe, as well as the CEO/MD of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), Kehinde Ogundimu, amongst other top government functionaries.
In a remark shortly after signing the bills into law, the Governor described the two new laws as foundation for the take-off of the state’s friendly business environment, stressing that without the laws, it will be difficult to attract lots of investors into the state.
“Without these laws, it would be very difficult to be able to invite a lot of investors, who are serious about investment, who understand what investment is, who understands what it takes for resolutions of all kinds of issues that come as a result of investment,” Engineer Sule said.
According to the Governor, the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency, will facilitate the establishment of a one stop shop for all kinds of investments, where government will assist investors towards realizing their vision.
“Once you are there, they will do the run around for you. And you tell them what type of investment it is, registration of your company, understanding your taxes, what kind of benefits you will have, what kind of wavers that are going to be available to you. What does it take for you to acquire land, what does it take to get your documentations, what is there to get your C of O,” he stated.
The mortgage and foreclosure law, on the other hand, will promote liquidity.
“For housing, it’s going to fast track the process of creating all the legal issues on mortgages and the issue of timely resolution of all kinds of disputes that are likely to happen,2 Engineer Sule said.
The Governor used the opportunity to the government team, as well as the MD of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company and his team, for coming up with the blueprint that led to the signing of the two bills into law.
Engineer Sule equally commended the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, particularly the Speaker, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe, for the prompt consideration and speedy passage of the bills into law.
Earlier, the MD NMRFC, Kehinde Ogundimu, described the event as a milestone not only for Nasarawa State but the country as a whole, adding that the signing of the two bills into law is the laying of a solid foundation for investments and greater things that will come to the state.
“There is a direct correlation between legal framework and amount of investments you have in a state. Now that we have the legal framework, we will not relent in attracting investment to Nasarawa State,” Ogundimu said.
Also, in an opening remarks, Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment and Economic Planning, Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, said industrialization or investment can happen in a sustainable way only through the creation of enabling legal and regulatory frameworks.
“This is the promise of Engineer Abdullahi Sule as enshrined in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), to create a private sector led and competitive economy for our state,” the SA said.
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