Aliko Dangote, the president of the Dangote Group, has urged state governments to make the building of an enabling environment a priority in order to attract more private sector investment.
On the sidelines of the recently ended Nasarawa economic conference in Lafia, the business magnate stated that no state in Nigeria is devoid of resources that may be used to spur industrial growth.
According to him, states must look inward and implement favorable economic policies that encourage investment generation within their borders.
“When states provide an enabling climate, the private sector will be encouraged to invest, and both the state and the private sector will benefit,” he stated.
He mentioned Lagos State and the Lekki Free Trade Zone, claiming that the state government’s ease of doing business had encouraged private sector entrepreneurs to set up shop in the area, thereby bringing value to the state and national economies.
In a same vein, he said that the Nasarawa state government was able to secure a multi-million dollar investment from Dangote Sugar Plc as a result of its efforts to transform the state into an investment-friendly location.
During his speech at the summit’s opening, Dangote emphasized the importance of different economic initiatives, particularly the Nasarawa state government’s land reform, in boosting socio-economic growth and increasing the quality of life for its citizens.
Dangote praised the state governor, Abdullahi Sule, for ensuring that the investment summit could fulfill its objectives.
He identified the enablers as providing focused leadership and a well-thought-out institutional framework that allows for the formation of a long-term, favorable business and investment environment.
According to him, developing a credible and complete strategy that identifies investment possibilities and projects was not enough; these plans also needed to be backed up by supportive policies and regulations that made these investment opportunities competitive.
“Here’s the good news: I can confidently state that Nasarawa State has in place all three prerequisites that promise to ensure the summit’s goals are met. First and foremost, I can say with all humility that the state has leadership with the vision and determination to see it through,” he said.
In his keynote talk, former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama gave some critical insights on how Nasarawa State might realize its investment objectives and implementation.