Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule presenting a letter of appointment to the Chairman of the state economic advisory council, Prof. Konyisola Ajayi.

Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has inaugurated the Investment and Economic Advisory Council which will serve as the fulcrum to enable the state to achieve a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 5 percent.

This was made known at the official inauguration of the 15-member council chaired by Prof. Konyisola Ajayi on Monday at the Lafia Government House.

The economic advisory council is also expected to assist the state to be among the top three most competitive states in the country by 2023, in terms of sustained economic growth, increased economic opportunity, social inclusion and improved quality of life of its citizens.

Engineer Sule, while inaugurating the council, said it was in fulfilment of his solemn commitment to make Nasarawa State a hub for investment opportunities and sustainable development, with the state adopting a robust investment policy and economic objective that will be structured on interim, short, medium and long term arrangements.

The governor added that his administration will establish a one-stop shop Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), “to process, regulate, manage and also drive our investment initiatives,” with the state poised to explore the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) approach to finance special infrastructural initiatives, as well as deploy strong political will to provide incentives to willing investors.

Accordingly, Engineer Sule said there was the need to evolve new strategies that will make the state more economically viable, necessitating the constitution of the economic advisory council, with members expected to leverage on their experience and network to unlock any possible constraints that might hinder the progress of the economic potentials of the state.

Members of the council are also expected to facilitate the inflow of domestic and foreign investments to the state.

“It is in furtherance to our commitment to transform the state into a high pedestal of development that we consider it imperative to set up the Nasarawa State Investment and Economic Advisory Council to appraise the state economic potentials, including the sources of revenue generation and advise government on appropriate policies,” the governor stated.

According to a statement issued by the governor, the council has 13 terms of reference, including supporting and implementing the Nasarawa State Economic Development Strategy (NEDS).

Throwing more light on the development, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Investment, Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the guiding principles for the NEDS, have good governance and leadership as key.

“His Excellency has already exhibited the political will to make Nasarawa State becomes the most preferred destination for doing business in this region and in Nigeria as a whole,” Abdullahi said.

According to the SSA, the NEDS, a well thought out economic strategy, will focus on five game changers namely, employment and wealth creation, accelerated industrialization, infrastructural development, human capital development and urban renewal and sustainable housing development.

While listing the competitive advantage of the state to include solid minerals, agriculture, power and transport, industry and tourism, health and education and ultimately, security, the SSA however noted that there are key reforms areas that the state must focus on to attain its objectives.

“It’s not an over ambitious plan but a plan well thought out by Engineer Sule, who is leveraging on the council to have increased partnership with private sector,” he said.

In a vote of thanks, Chairman of the newly inaugurated economic advisory council, Prof. Konyisola Ajayi, thanked the governor for his sincerity of purpose and for assembling a cross section of patriots bound together by their excellence in creative disruption.

He commended the governor for assembling a team representing the finest and best from across the country, all in the pursuit of the economic advancement and development of Nasarawa State, in order to make “this basket of raw talent and opportunity, not just one of the largest economies in the nation but also one of the best states with social mobility, economic advancement, educational process, peace and security.”

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