By Usman UsmanGarba
Kano State Government has revised the Kano Master Plan, which was last retouched 35 years ago, as part of deliberate attempt to accelerate industrial development of the state.
In this regard, areas of potential holdups were identified, leading to the construction of interchanges, in addition to investment in roads constriction, to ease transportation and reduce the time and cost of doing business.
The state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje stated this yesterday, during a meeting with local investors at Bristol Hotel in the state capital, ahead of the Kano Economic and Diaspora Summit, scheduled to take place later this year.
Dr. Ganduje said his administration has adopted a multi-sectoral approach to fast track industrial development including huge investment in security management, water supply, roads, light rail and the health sector, pointing out that the vision was to take Kano to the center of developmental activities.
According to him, “this is part of the measures we have to take to encourage investment in industrial development because of the potential multiplier effects on the growth of our economy.”
The governor assured that the state would leverage on the AKK gas line project and the Ibadan-Kaduna-Kano-Maradi rail project, both executed by the federal government, to revive the state’s leading position in industry and commerce.
“This will be consolidated by the Dala Inland Dry Port project, which will take off in the next few months and the Northwest Zonal office of the Nigerian Shippers Council, which was commissioned by the Minister of Transport two days ago.
“With these projects, Kano will be a point of origin and final destination for movement of goods and services,” he asserted.
In his remarks, the President of Dangote Group, AlhajiAlikoDangote, who noted that the major problem facing industrialists in Kano was power, expressed optimism that the AKK pipeline project would address the issue.
Alhaji Dangote, therefore, urged Governor Ganduje to pressurize the Federal Government to deliver the project, saying it would not only make industries in the state more competitive but also ensure productive of goods at the cheapest possible cost.
Regarding infrastructure deficit which the state government is trying to address, he stated: “We have gotten approval from the Federal government to build the 10 kilometer Sharada Industrial Estate road, under the tax holiday, which is Presidential Order No 7.”
“And if there are any other roads from 50, 60 to 100 billion, we will be able to build those ones, to make sure that you put up proper infrastructure, so that there won’t be any complain,” he added.
Alhaji Dangote also advised the state government to focus more on agricultural development, especially food processing, stressing that the state has a lot of advantages in the sector, if it could make good use of its water resources for irrigation.
The Director-General, KANINVEST and Diaspora, Hajiya Hama Ali Aware, who made a presentation on the upcoming Kano Economic and Diaspora Investment Summit, appealed to investors to work with her agency, to make the state, the prime destination for investment in the country.
Also speaking, the Account-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmad Idris, who praised the Ganduje administration for its dedication to infrastructural development, stressed the need for indigenes of the state working in the Federal Civil Service to attract developmental projects to the state.
Investors who spoke during the occasion included Senator Ibrahim Ida of Bristol Group, AlhajiAhmaduHarunaZago from Lee Group and the President, Kano Chamber of Commerce, AlhajiDalhatuAbubakar.
They advised the state government to work with the private sector to encourage investment industrial development, ensure multiple taxation relief and solve the water challenge facing factories.