Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has declared the intention of the state to become the hub of minerals and to be known as a serious business hub. This is as the FG has so far doled out N1.19trillion in the past five months to support states.
Bello spoke Tuesday in Lokoja at the Kogi State maiden economic and investment summit. He said Kogi State is now safe for investors and investments, adding that the problem of security had been tackled and brought to the lowest level. “Kogi state is now open for business, we want to be signing MoU. I invite the private sector to collaborate with us in our bid to develop the state. Kogi State is for serious business”.
Speaking, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said the N1.19 trillion doled to states had enabled some state governments to embark on capital expenditures., the state governor in his address said the summit was packaged to change the identity of the 27-year-old state from a civil service status to an industrialised entity, adding that his administration had in the last two years prepared the ground for economic and industrial breakthroughs for the state by solving the problems that had been hindering economic growth in the state.
Osinbajo also disclosed that the funds were made available through the excess crude account, the Paris Club refund, loans among others to the states.
He explained that parts of the funds were the entitlements of the state that they legally had access to, while some of them were loans to be repaid.
The number two citizen of the federation however, noted that the present administration had the highest capital expenditures in two years, adding that these were evident in the ongoing railway line construction, road constructions, and hydro power project.
He said the summit came at the right time that the country was trying to reduce its dependence on oil and increase its non oil income with the promotion of agriculture and the abundant solid mineral resources across the country.
Osinbajo equally pointed out that Kogi State is strategically located with vast mineral resources that could make it a hub of commercial activities, adding that the summit was capable of reinvigorating and inspiring the people.
Also speaking, the minister of solid minerals development, Kayode Fayemi, in his presentation, said the bulk of the revenue of Kogi should be internally generated based on the abundant mineral resources in the state.
However, he maintained that mining was not a business that should be tied to the tenure of any executive as it is a long term investment that outlived the maximum two term tenure of any executive.