COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF KATSINA STATE ECONOMIC AND INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2016 -By Alhaji Tukur Jikamshi
Considering its immense natural and people resources, in particular, its vast fertile agricultural lands, large youthful population, huge untapped solid mineral resources the State has been endowed with,
Appreciating her considerable human capital that remains largely underdeveloped,in all its ramifications,
Appreciating that despite these huge fortune-changing natural and human resources the state remain underleveraged,
Realizing that should these immense resources be fully harnessed and exploited, it could catapult the State into prosperity for all her citizens,
Recognizing the increasing levels of poverty and the expanding variety of its profiles especially as symbolized by gender inequity and unmet youths’ aspirations,
Responding to the spirit and letters of the Katsina State Government’s commitment to delivering good governance to its people as encapsulated in its Restoration Agenda
Noting the Nation’s strong determination to shift away from sole dependency on an oil-based economy to a more sustainable and broader based economy, noting in particular, the strong accent on agriculture, solid mineral resources and manufacturing sectors,
Responding to the need for a broadly spread and inclusive access to economic growth and redevelopment,
And especially acknowledging the determination of the Katsina State Government’s desire to create full and gainful employment through a broadly shared economic growth and development that leaves no one behind,
Including the attractive regulatory and incentive environment as enunciated in the various government policies targeting growth and economic development and demonstrated by the further setting up a regime of pro-investor policies,
Acknowledging that the private sector is the State’s natural partner to realising its multiple objectives of rapid economic growth and development, generating large employment opportunities by deploying its considerable investment and knowledge platforms,
The Katsina State Government set up the Katsina State Economic and Investment Summit Committee to Organise the First Ever Katsina State Economic and Investment Summit.
The Summit Committee organised the First Katsina State Economic and Investment Summit 2016 with the Theme: Unlocking Investment Potentials for Sustainable Development, held in Katsina from May 9th to 11th, with the following objectives:
1. Engage all the State’s unutilized and underutilized natural resources towards creating an efficient and prosperous state.
2. To create awareness of the State Government’s new investment climate and policy thrust.
3. To create a robust plat-form for dialogue with potential investors.
4. To revitalize the private sector for higher returns and employment generation; and
5. Enhance the visibility of the State as a viable investment hub, among others.
After very extensive, intensive and conclusive deliberations, the Summit unanimously noted, resolved and recommended the following:
1. The Participants note the attendance of the Summit by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and massive participation by delegates from across the country and from across the world,
2. The participants noted how the energy sector replaced agriculture as the dominant contributor to the economy with rather disruptive consequences resulting in among others, growth without development,
3. The Participants noted the suggestion that most appropriate responses for Nigeria should be crafting appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks,
4. The participants also noted, the examples of many nations which built strong and sustainable economies based agricultural commodity; this it was observed could be good models for Nigeria,
5. That Katsina State, needs to exploit its factor, resource and its human capital endowments, noting in particular, the need for the government to fast track titling of landed properties of the poor to enable them access badly needed productive resources,
6. The Participants noted in particular, the State Government’s commendable commitment to supporting businesses wishing to acquire land and the strong assurance of delivering land title in 30 days,
7. Improve on its unacceptably low quality of human capital which is considered as the reason for the low productivity in the state. This has entrenched the widespread and deep poverty trap in the state,
8. The participants noted Katsina State’s large land mass and its comparative advantages in many agricultural and mineral resources and urged the State Government to strongly leverage on these to improve its public finances and the quality of life of its people,
9. The Participants noted the repeated calls for policies that protect the local industries from unfair competition from similar products from abroad as this threatens their businesses and the benefits the State accrues,
10. The participants recommended that Katsina should adopt the right policies in respect of its hard assets such as dams, air and land ports, forest reserves, solid minerals etc, to reap huge economic rewards in the overall interest of its people.
11. In addition, the Participants also noted the need for the State Government to hire reputable consultants to conduct of bankability studies to close the gaps in infrastructure,
12. Noting that acceleration of the economic diversificationprocess into agriculture remains the credible alternatives to oil, the main challenges in primary agricultural production in Nigeria today include lack of access or restricted access to productive resources and technologies such as fertiliser, improved water supply, etc.
13. The Participants recommend the way forward through an integrated value chain model which not only connects producers to other actors in the chain – input suppliers, intermediaries,processors, retailers and service providers including funding – but also incorporates many of these by property and / or formal contract relations.
14. The Participants acknowledge Micro, Small, and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) as catalysts for rapid growth, job creation and poverty reduction, noting that MSMEs are the easiest medium for achieving inclusive growth, which is essential for sustainable development and recommended,
15. Katsina State should play to its strength effectively by concentrating its efforts on agricultural products in which it has a comparative advantage (i.e. cotton, sorghum, maize, and animal husbandry); by imaginatively exploiting the full spectrum of the value chains inherent in these advantages,
16. The State should build the capacity of small farmers in order to boost competitiveness; and increase productivity and efficiency,
17. Recommend the development of a core of dedicated staff within the appropriate state government apparatus to champion the agricultural value chain; mobilize and train the huge population of unemployed youth, so that quality manpower would be produced in sufficient numbers to meet the anticipated demands from the rapidly expanding businesses ignited by this Summit,
18. Give priority to research and development (R&D), with a view to boosting productivity in the selected products that the State Government has chosen for the value chain; and
19. Create the enabling mechanisms for the value chain actors; these may include an efficient system of processing land titles within the shortest possible time-frame and deliver on the 30-day commitment of His Excellency.
20. Ensure an efficient utilization of irrigation facilities; and
21. Mobilize financing at competitive rates for the value from internal, as well as external sources,
22. The Participants noted and lauded CBN’s collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders to reverse the nation’s burgeoning import bill and conserve much needed foreign exchange, by providing access to cheap credit to MSME,
23. The participants recommended the Establishment of a Secured Transaction and National Collateral Registry to facilitate the registration and acceptability of movable property as loan collaterals
24. The Participants recommended the Encouragement of venture capital companies and business angels to fund MSMEs and set up the National Credit Scoring System to improve access to information on borrowers to positively influence credit decisions were also noted; and enhance the operations of credit reference bureaus.
25. The participants noted the acceptance of CBN’s offer of close collaboration between the apex bank and the Katsina State Government under the ANCHOR borrowers’ programme to harness the ingenuity of its citizens,
26. The participants noted the key roles of MSMEs in sustainable economic development as engines of growth, poverty alleviation and job creation, noting that MSMEs development is vital to the transformation of Katsina State’s economy.
27. The Participants accepted that a single geographic area that possesses the facilities to produce, process, package and sell a produce is rare.
28. And, therefore, appreciated that a transit corridor such as LAKAJI will address and reduce the costs of transport of goods between the various regions that have specialized facilities to produce, process, package or sell a product,
29. Such a transit corridor, it was also noted, will connect all economic zones and different trade facilities, to make Nigerian product price more competitive worldwide.
30. The participants noted the role of The NEXTT’s 3-and-a half year old project which was designed to mirror the three pillars of a transport corridor namely:
Transportation – NEXTT serves as an advocate for improving infrastructure that will ease the means of transportation of goods from Jibia to Lagos, and vice versa.
Policy – An important component of a trade corridor, correct policies that range from roadblocks to Customs Clearing to International trade
Investment –As a result of believing private sector investors investing in various trade-related infrastructuressuch as greenhouses and factories among others, more investors see opportunities to cash in.
31. The Summit noted the need for regional integration and synergies to derive maximum benefit from the huge potentials the Corridor offers it partners,
32. Also noted were the close collaboration between The NEXTT with governments, and other trade-related agencies and the NIPC, which is expected to take charge of LAKAJI after NEXTT has expired,
33. The participants noted the offer to the State Government by the Honourable Minister of State for Trade and Investment to request for setting up an ICT Hub in Katsina State,
34. Participants noted and recommended the need for the government to establish linkages with Research Institutes to benefit from cutting edge knowledge from these Institutes,
35. Participants also recommended the use of Public Private Partnerships model to acquire vital infrastructure,especially in the face of dwindling revenues and growing public expenditure commitments,
36. The participants strongly recommend the setting of the appropriate agency to take over from the Summit Committee so that the momentum generated from this Summit, the recommendationsmade to achieve the key objectives of this Summit are expeditiously achieved in a sustainable manner,
37. Such an Agency becomes imperative in the light of the intensive and extensive interactions between local entrepreneurs and foreign Entrepreneurs during the B2B breakout sessions which requires effective management of the outcomes,
38. It is recommended that such an Agency should properly resourced and enabled to carry out this very vital role;
39. Finally the Participants note that should the Katsina State Government get it right with the local investors, there would be significant Local Direct Investments which would in turn attract Foreign Direct Investments without having to go out of its way to make any special offers to the Foreign Investors,
40. The Participants happily note that at this very moment there a total of 36 signed agreements in the B2B segment concluded during the Break out session,
41. In closing, Participants express gratitude and appreciation to the People and Government of Katsina State for their warm hospitality, leadership role in actualizing the coming together of stakeholders through this Economic and Investment Summit to and express the wish for a sustained tempo through Post- Summit care activities to be executed by the Summit Committee.
Alhaji Ibrahim Tukur Jikamshi
Chairman, Economic and Investment Summit Committee
General Muhammadu Buhari House, Katsina
11th May, 2016