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GoInvest2022: Pathway To First Class Economic Development In Gombe



By Ismaila Uba Misilli

It is often said among men that ‘money makes a man, but investment makes the successful man’. What Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya is currently doing in Gombe State, the Jewel in the Savannah, is akin to separating Gombe among mere States in Nigeria to the successful and prosperous one where both the local and the international businessmen look towards as their best Investment destination.

Inuwa did this via the instrumentality of the first ever Gombe State Investment Summit which recently took place between October 12 and 14, 2022 at the Gombe International Conference Cente.

The theme is no less expressive of the genuine intentions of the protagonists of the Summit. It is aptly coined.

The event which was graced with the presence of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, left an indelible social and economic growth blueprint which is capable of catapulting the Jewel in the Savannah from the backyard of economic insignificance into a limelight of international business reckoning.

It was a well attended summit. The over 500 sitting capacity amphitheatre venue of the summit recorded a full attendance capacity through out the three days duration. Reputable corporate sponsors and captains of industry were fully represented.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo heaped accolades on Inuwa Yahaya for his consistent foresight and his knack for scoring many firsts for Gombe State.

He said, “I salute Your Excellency’s focus and your determination to improve the fortunes of Gombe State, especially by positioning it for investments from both foreign and local investors.

“This inaugural Summit, GoInvest, is consistent with Gombe State’s mission to creating an enabling environment for sustainable prosperity, peace, cohesion and an all-inclusive development for the people of the State, as contained in the Development Agenda for Gombe State (DEVAGOM) 2021 – 2030.

“The Development Plan itself is perhaps one of the few by a subnational to articulate a detailed long-term vision and plan towards the transformation of the State. In addition, the State developed a full Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) covering the last two years 2020-2022. So, DEVAGOM 2021-2030, is both a visioning exercise and a concrete road map to the long-term growth and sustainable development of Gombe State.

“I am delighted that we are beginning to harvest the first fruits of the plan. One of those is the remarkable feat of attaining the first position in the Subnational Ease of Doing Business Baseline Survey Report of 2021. I am also informed that Gombe State was recently invited by the world-renowned Royal Institute of International Affairs, popularly known as the Chatham House, to share its experience in implementing the State’s health system reforms. These validations from different bodies, local and international could not have come by accident.

“They are a product of the strong leadership and commitment that have been demonstrated by Your Excellency and I think this became even clearer even as Governor-elect in 2019.”

Osinbajo opined that his most poignant affirmation of the belief of Gombe State in the notion that government must catalyse economic growth with both policy measures and brick and mortar, is the commencement in 2021 of the 1000-hectare Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park. The first phase of it is almost ready – over 369 hectares of that is ready.

This is to be a purpose-built fully resourced manufacturing and industrial processing hub, designed to accommodate 10 mega factories. The project is important for the value-added functions of the factories and accretion to both internal and national revenue and the jobs that it will create -10,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs.

The foreground for a successful economic growth has been established by Inuwa Yahaya and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo further validates the superlative accomplishments of Inuwa’s administration.

The Vice President is not done yet. He went further to enumerate why he thinks Gombe State is on a spectacular economic cruise.

He said, “I think it is fascinating that Governor Inuws Yahaya has approached the development of the State by thinking like a Sovereign state as opposed to thinking as a subnational. This explains why he took the trouble to draw up a 10-year development plan, an MTEF, and takes the issues of creating an enabling business environment seriously. And this is as it should be. Gombe could rank very easily as a Sovereign State; its GDP is almost three times the GDP of Gambia and it is almost at the same level as the GDP of Liberia.

“So, when you compare this State to actual Sovereign States, you will see clearly that the only way to plan the growth of this State is to plan it as you would plan the growth of a country. And I am very happy that Governor Inuwa Yahaya is doing that”.

The very cerebral and amiable Vice President concluded by liking Gombe State to what the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari set out to do with commensurate compliance by the constituents States of Nigeria.

“As a progressive government, we remain committed to policies and reform efforts that are geared towards economic diversification and improved productivity. We are proud of the giant strides that Gombe State has recorded so far, but more importantly, we are confident of the successful results of the programmes currently being implemented by the State Government and those that are underway in the areas of health, industrialization, and agriculture”.

Now that the ice of economic development lethargy has been broken by the inimitable Inuwa Yahaya, what are the signposts of progress post GOINVEST 2022.

From the contributions of summit participants and the recommendations, Gombe State is certainly on an unrelentless progressive swing of economic success. This is because about a hundred of billion Naira is to be injected into the economy of the state as pioneer investment by companies who have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the government.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya says it all in his own words as the visioner of the new economic architectural blueprint worthy of emulations by other state governments in Nigeria.

“I am satisfied with the responses from investors and the business community. Hundreds of investors have expressed interest to operate from the industrial park, and many more are willing. In the course of this summit, we will sign memoranda of understanding with some leading local and international brands to further demonstrate the success of our efforts” an elated Inuwa Yahaya said.

The overwhelming turn out of investors at the GOINVEST 2022 cannot be overlooked. The crop of investors pooled together further accentuates the caliber of Summit Gombe State was able to hold successfully.

Bank of Industry, Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission, Taj Bank, Access Bank, UBA, Polaris Bank, North East Development Commission, Nexim Bank, and many others provided the necessary impetus for a successful outing.

Signatures have been appended by various companies across the economic ecosystem of Nigeria indicating a readiness and confidence in doing business in Gombe state, with some of them truly and heavily committed to begin operations by early next year.

Inuwa Yahaya, the Dan Majen Gombe, declared proudly at the Summit that, “Gombe is open for business. It is the destination of choice for investment in the north-east subregion. Not even the more than a decade-old Boko Haram insurgency or the covid-19 pandemic and its attendant global economic meltdown could slow our march towards progress”. The Governor said with finality that this is the leadership we promise. This is the Gombe State we are building, one that will serve as a model to the rest of the country and a source of pride to our future generations. Our march towards building a peaceful, prosperous and all-inclusive state must not be distracted.

The first ever Gombe State Investment Summit has come and gone. One thing stands out for the administration of Inuwa Yahaya. It is not one that starts a project without accomplishing it. It is not a dress rehearsal government. Neither does it rank at all in the hall of white elephant regimes. Records of promises kept in the past are the attestation needed to expect a sporadic Industrialiisation and economic development of the Jewel in the Savannah.

Welcome to Gombe, a land of new economic realities. This is a state with a fertile ground for all kind of investments.

Let me allow the words on marble left behind in Gombe by His Excellency Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to resonate deeply in the minds of my readers…

“The successes that we have seen here in Gombe are substantially on account of the effective collaboration of the private sector, the State Government and the Federal Government. Our Federation benefits our people when the States and Federal authorities alongside private actors think and work together.”

“Let me again reemphasize the Federal Government’s pledge to work with the Gombe State Government, to give you all the support that you need in order to ensure that your businesses and the business environment succeed”.

Misilli is the DG Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe

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PDP Crisis: Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Others Get Soft Landing



…..Party Rescinds Sanctions

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rescinded sanctions slammed on former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and ex-Senate President, Pius Anyim, over alleged anti-party activities.

Benue Governor Samuel Ortom, Ibrahim Shema of Kastina state and other party Chieftains also sanctioned got soft landings after a crucial meeting of the national working committee of the party yesterday in Abuja

Recall that the party top shots were suspended by the embattled Iyorchia Ayu leadership over alleged anti party activities

But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, yesterday Thursday, March 30, the party announced that its National Working Committee,NWC, has reversed the suspension of the party’s chieftains.

Ologunagba noted that the PDP NWC also reversed Governor Ortom’s referral to the party’s disciplinary committee.

He said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting today, Thursday, March 30, 2023, extensively discussed recent developments in the party.

“The NWC recognised the imperativeness of a total reconciliation among party leaders and critical stakeholders for a more cohesive Party in the overall interest of our teeming members and Nigerians in general.

“Consequent upon the above, the NWC reverses the referral of the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee.

“The NWC in the same vein reverses the suspension of the following members of our great party: H.E Ibrahim Shema (Katsina State); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State); Sen. Pius Anyim (Ebonyi State); Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State); Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).

“This decision is without prejudice to the powers of the NWC to take necessary disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017).

“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to be guided by the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) as well as the new spirit and necessity of reconciliation, unity, and harmony in our party at this critical time.

“The PDP must remain focused as we continue to take every necessary action to recover the stolen mandate freely given by Nigerians to our party and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the PDP spokesperson stated.

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DSS ING Alarm:Legal Means Can Be Deployed To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration- HURIWA



Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday said there was nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop the inauguration of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023 because the February 25, 2023 election that produced him is still being actively challenged in court by leading candidates in the poll.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the so-called alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday that some politicians are plotting an interim government should not be used as an obstacle to stop the petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) challenging Tinubu’s Victory

The DSS warning followed a petition by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo that the DSS should invite Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their rejection of Tinubu as the President-Elect.

Similarly, Atiku had earlier in March led a protest to the Abuja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject the result of the February 25 poll declared by the electoral umpire.

Both Atiku and Obi alleged electoral malpractices in the poll and are in court to challenge the declaration of Tinubu as President-Elect by INEC.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Department of State Services should not rope in powerful opposition forces such as Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar with a view to finding some frivolous charges to hang on their necks to frustrate their formidable petitions against the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll.

“The DSS must work for all of Nigeria and not work as errand boys of Tinubu and his allies who only recently made claims that some persons want to stop his swearing in. By the way, there is nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop his inauguration because the election is being actively challenged. Nothing should be used as obstacles to obstruct Obi and Atiku’s petitions.

He advised that ,“The DSS should go after arm smugglers, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists and leave politicking for politicians.”

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Edo NUJ Felicitates Arase Over Appointment As Chairman PSC



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council has felicitated with Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector General of Police on his appointment as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In a statement signed by the union Chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, the union described the appointment as well deserved.

The union expressed optimism that Arase will bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment to his father land.

The union prayed God Almighty to grant him the knowledge and wisdom to reposition the Police Service Commission for better service delivery.

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