July 14, 2021 / 06:35 AM / By Umaru Kwairanga / Header Image Credit: HumAngle_
Being Speech by Umaru Kwairanga, Sarkin Fulanin Gombe, Chairman Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Limited at the Inauguration of the Board.
Let me begin by expressing our gratitude to His Excellency, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, our able Executive Governor of Gombe State for giving us the privilege to serve on the reconstituted board of the Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company.
I see it as a great honour to be asked to serve our state and people in whatever capacity and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute our quota to fast-tracking the development of our state, Your Excellency.
Let me also appreciate my fellow board members who despite their very busy schedules have agreed to serve on the board. This present board, I can state with no intention to boast and with all humility, is comprised of the best and brightest of our citizens who have all excelled in their various offices and are renowned technocrats and professionals of the highest calibre. It is a sign of their deep patriotism that they have accepted the invitation to recalibrate and reinvigorate the state's investment company.
I can also assure you, Your Excellency, that from my recent engagements with them, all of them are ready to put in the much needed time and resources to ensure a turnaround for the company.
The anticipated turnaround of the Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company is coming at an auspicious time as there is now a general realization that the days of States depending on Federal Allocations for their development and running costs are coming to an end.
The truth is with the impact of the covid pandemic on the economy, dwindling revenue from crude oil, current agitations for restructuring and Nigeria's growing population and needs, depending largely on the federation account cannot be sufficient if we truly desire development in our state. We must look inwards and assess what resources Allah has blessed us with and look outwards for partners who are willing and able to help us develop those resources if we are to ensure Gombe State's sustainable development. The state's investment company is the statutory vehicle to lead this investment drive-in sha Allah.
From my experience, there are several criteria that investors use to decide where to invest and some of these are available material resources, the population and quality of the human resources, the presence of enabling policies and procedures that encourage investment, security and leadership that is committed and welcoming to willing and ready investors. Gombe State no doubt already has some of these ingredients. We have substantial agricultural and mineral resources that are largely unexploited. We have a young, vibrant resourceful population. We are, the most peaceful and secure state in the North East and one of the most secure in the whole federation, Alhamdu Lillah. We also now have an administration that is committed to improving the state's attractiveness to investors and a Governor that is personally driving that commitment.
There are many achievements that I can point to that clearly show that His Excellency, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya's administration is committed to improving the state's investment climate and development. He has for one conceptualised a world class development master plan for the state. He has also dramatically improved the state's business processes and friendliness to business, a feat that was recently recognised with the state's ranking as number one on the Ease of Doing Business chart. That is an achievement worthy of note given the state's previous position on that chart. With the above and other actions, my board and I are confident that we have the backing and support of the Governor who is determined to improve the investment and developmental prospects of Gombe State.
Our major task as a body therefore is to reinvigorate the company through necessary policies, actions and collaborations that will enable Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company position to change the development narrative of our state. We intend to put the necessary strategies and frameworks in place to actualize such notable projects as the Gombe State Industrial Park and special development zones in the three senatorial zones. We will pursue collaborations with private investors such as Nestle, Cadbury and Flour Mills plc as well as government and multilateral institutions such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Islamic Development Bank, Dangote Group as well as the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation and UNIDO.
Your Excellency, we intend to have a combined retreat with GROCOL and submit to you within the next Six Weeks of our inauguration our strategy with targets and timelines for what we intend to achieve in the first three years of our inauguration as a board. We are confident that with your backing and the support of the good people of Gombe State, we shall make you proud and our state will be the better for it.
Thank you once again Your Excellency for the opportunity to serve.