“KADIPA aims to be a world class investment agency”
At the start of the year, government ministries, departments and agencies and even the private sector do some sort of stocktaking. What has the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) done in the last two months that you took on the role of Executive Secretary?
When the new management arrived on board, I remember that the first thing I did was reshuffle the management, that is, bring in new interim directors who will be confirmed at the next board meeting. administration. What we decided to do was say that in the future, having achieved a lot as an investment promotion agency under the administration of His Excellency Governor Nasir El-Rufai, we should reposition KADIPA to become a world-class investment promotion agency. We have broken records in the country, so it’s high time we started looking for our peers outside, to make sure we become the best in the world. We have set a target of over $ 500 million in investment over the next year, $ 10 million in internal revenue, over 10,000 jobs, and so on.
So, what we have been able to achieve in the last two months is that we have been able to join the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), we got the help of GIZ who helped us in the ginger policy. ; we believe that ginger has been neglected as a crop in the agricultural and agrarian sector that we have in Kaduna state. Also, the inclusive business network of GIZ, we want to see entering the future, impact investments; that is, investments in the social sustainability module. People don’t want to be seen investing in dirty black energy sources, they want to have the social factor when they invest. What are the benefits for communities? Are people being helped, health care, education, etc. are they supported? What impact do investments have on society? Thus, we were able to open negotiations with them to help us.
We were also able to sort out a lot of housing issues, we were able to help Inosson Motors to open showrooms in Kaduna. We were also able to consolidate investments, including some investments in livestock in the local government of Kubau. Lest I forget, we had a business breakfast with the business community. We believe that it is necessary to become a more responsive agency, we must be more attentive to the private sector. It is therefore necessary to establish close collaboration between KADIPA and the private sector.
What is the strategic importance of joining the World Associations of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)? What value will it add to promoting investment in Kaduna State?
First of all, when you build an image as an investment promotion agency, you have to show people what you are capable of, like the Ease of Doing Business rating that we got with the World Bank. It’s a signal to investors all over the world watching it’s a place to do business. We are the only sub-national agency in Nigeria to have joined WAIPA, the only other body is the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) which is at the national level. Even the networking and socializing opportunities we get at WAIPA will expand our investment portfolio. That’s the kind of thing we’re talking about, we have to fit into the global value chain.
What comparative advantage does Kaduna State have over other sub-nationals, in your efforts to market it to local and foreign investors, aside from the ease of doing business?
First, we say Kaduna state is the gateway to the north, Kaduna state is a strategic transportation hub, it was once an industrial hub that we let’s try to revive and so on. It gives you access to the markets of the North, it is also the third largest consumer market; even with our population alone is enough. The comparative advantage includes the agricultural sector which constitutes the major part of our GDP. We market the fact that we are the number one ginger not only in Africa, but also the best quality in the world. We market that we are number one in corn, number one in tomatoes and number two in soybeans. We also market our workforce, 75% of our workforce is under 35 and under and this is one of the core tenets of Kaduna state, we say we have a young workforce. If you build a factory, you will have this educated workforce to help keep it running. We also market that Kaduna State has the political will. Many of these investors don’t invest just because people tell them about their comparative advantage. In Kaduna State, you know the leadership is strong, you know that when you enter Kaduna State, His Excellency, Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his entire government, will prioritize your investment in terms of security, acceleration and facilitation of your license and C of O, are concerned. So these reasons, among others, are the reason why we are number one in the nation.
Just like the state government lured Olam Feed and Hatchery Mill to relocate to Kaduna, are you considering hiring a world-class company to mine ginger?
Absoutely. This is the work plan. You know that we launched the State Development Plan at the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KADINVEST) 6.0. Thus, we now revolve around three pillars: the digital economy, value-added economic activities in a variety of sectors and infrastructure development. So with the ginger policy we were able to sit down and look at the ginger value chain, roll it out and see in each segment what kind of businesses we will be able to attract to add value to the product. We also sold the Kachia Ginger Factory to a private investor in March and they are expected to take off soon by the first quarter of this year as well. It would also add value to us, especially when people tell us we have dying industries.
You were at the intra-African trade fair in South Africa, did you sign any memoranda of understanding with a company that has expressed interest in starting something in Kaduna state?
Absoutely. Many. The main objective of going to South Africa was to market our green economic zone in the local government of Igabi; a PPP agreement between the Kaduna state government and KK Kingdom. Honestly this was probably the most popular business in the room, everyone had a bag or some souvenirs and whatnot, from KK Kingdom. It was a N15 billion deal and it will likely be even more than that. Afreximbank offered to be one of the financiers of the economic zone. We met many companies at the show and told them that we wanted to position all light industry manufacturers there. So we have a lot of companies both African, European and so on. The highlight for me was the textile industry that we were trying to bring in. We were trying to unpack the textile sector and we believe that in the coming year we can make a lot of progress both in the green economic zone and in the allied Green Agro zone.
So we are in talks with KK Kingdom themselves, we want them to set up the KK Kingdom textiles in this area. We’ll see how we can use the gas from the AKK pipeline to power it and a host of other companies.
One of KADIPA’s flagship events has been the Kaduna Investment Summit (KADINVEST), which you have been organizing for six consecutive years. With you in charge, what type of KADINVEST do we envision in 2022?
In fact, I think now is the time for us to consolidate, towards the last stage of this administration, showing what we have achieved and what the state wants to achieve in the next five to 10 years. You know it’s not just about this administration. His Excellency really wants to leave a legacy when it comes to investment and job creation. So, in the future, the next KADINVEST that you will see will certainly be one of the most technological, it would be participatory. I think I want to see a lot more agreements signed, a lot more investment, a lot more jobs created. I think I would like to see more businesses participating in the local economy so that we see how we can connect. It is very vital, industrial links; so that we can create bigger markets for our MSMEs and that is the key. I think the more we talk and educate people about what we can produce, we still talk about MSMEs and I think we need to integrate them into the investment campaign to have a lot more impact in terms of local community and creation of jobs and people with higher incomes in Kaduna State.
-KADIPA has set a target of more than $ 500 million in investments over the next year, of which $ 10 million will be generated internally, thus creating more than 10,000 jobs;
- Kaduna state attracted $ 2.8 billion in investment over six years
-The agency joined the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), the only subnational in Nigeria to have done so;
-With the help of GIZ, a German development agency, value will be added to the production of ginger;
-KADIPA was at the Intra-African Trade Fair in South Africa with KK Kingdom, to market the Kaduna State Green Economic Zone;
-Many European and African companies have expressed their interest in investing in the green economic zone, where light industry companies will be located;
–Afreximbank offered to be one of the financers of the economic zone;
-Innoson Motors will soon open a showroom in Kaduna.