By Salim Yunusa
Governor Nasir Ahmad El- Rufa’i of Kaduna state has said that in spite of all security challenges, Kaduna state has been consistent in promoting the ease of doing business, fast tracking approvals and reinforcing its credentials as a business-friendly state.
The Governor said Kaduna state has never relented in its commitment to attract investors and support the private sector to create jobs and develop the state.
El Rufai who made this known at a ground breaking ceremony on Tuesday, said that ‘’as an industrial park, the Green Economic Zone will attract firms in the light manufacturing sector.’’
He explained that the N15b project which is a collaboration between Kaduna State Government and KK Kingdom, will provide critical infrastructure to boost investments in the manufacturing sector, create jobs and reduce poverty in the state.
El Rufai further said that ‘’such firms will create jobs as they industrialise the state, transfer skills and boost the Internally Generated Revenues of the state.’’
While welcoming KK Kingdom to partner with Kaduna state to deliver the project, the governor also said the partnership will ‘’ build on the facilities that we have already provided such as the power substation.’’
According to him, the ‘’collaboration with KK Kingdom is the sort of public-private partnership that Kaduna State Government constantly seeks for the development of Kaduna State.
‘’We expect KK Kingdom to complete the provision of roads, water reticulation, fibre optics and other infrastructure in the Green Economic Zone so that firms can begin operating there within the next two years,’’ he said.
The governor said that the ground breaking that took place in ‘’the Green Economic Zone complements the progress being recorded in our other industrial park, the Green Agro Allied Industrial Zone (GAAIZ).’’
According to him, firms like Olam, OCP of Morocco which produces fertiliser and Dangote-Peugeot Assembly plant have already established their presence in GAAIZ.
‘’As a state government, we create jobs where we can but we support the private sector to create many jobs, and thereby help fight poverty and contribute to state revenues.
The governor emphasised that “everyone that creates jobs and pays taxes is our friend and Kaduna State”.
Speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA) Umma Aboki , described “the Green Economic Zone (GEZ) as one of two industrial parks designated by the Malam Nasir El-Rufai administration as part of its strategic intent to fast track the industrialisation of the state and attract more investments.”
She further said that the government has already built a power substation to service the GEZ which is sited on 717 hectares of land strategically located on the Kaduna-Jos road, adding that the park will create immediate jobs.
According to the Executive Secretary, the objective of GEZ is ‘’to provide a safe, secure and eco-friendly environment for firms in the light manufacturing sector.
“GEZ is an industrial park designed to provide a “plug and play” facility for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enable them to operate competitively. GEZ will help firms to establish their manufacturing plants more efficiently and reduce their cost of doing business,’’ she said.