President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sued for peace in Kaduna State, asking the indigenes to see one another as one.
He said this was the easiest way for the government and investors to achieve development in the state.
He was speaking on at the opening of the Fifth Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit.
The summit has the theme, ‘KADInvest 5.0, Infrastructure, Industrialisation and Innovation.’
Recall that Kaduna has frequently been in the news for the wrong reasons lately, particularly the killings in Southern Kaduna and the destruction of valuables by warring groups.
The settler-indigene dichotomy in the area, mired by etho-religious hatred, has often led to the loss of lives on both sides of the divide.
In the past months and year, rarely a week passed successfully without reports on the loss of lives on a massive scale in Southern Kaduna.
However, on Monday, Buhari, who addressed the summit via teleconferencing, called on the people to embrace one another as brothers and sisters.
The State House, quoting the President, stated, “We must live together as brothers and sisters because without peace, development cannot take place,’’ the President noted at virtual opening of the Fifth Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, with the theme KADInvest 5.0, Infrastructure, Industrialisation and Innovation.
“I wish to commend the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to establish its credentials as one of the new investment destinations of choice in Nigeria. These efforts have received just recognition in the response of the business community which has put in new investments in the state.
“This is a further affirmation of the ranking of the state as Number One for Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018. I call on the Kaduna State Government to keep up these laudable efforts and surpass the impressive results already attained.”
He spoke on how efforts by state governments to create jobs by attracting investments would held build the country generally and improve on the quality of living.
“Therefore, I am impressed that the Kaduna State Government has from inception used KADInvest as a serious platform for showcasing its investment potentials.
“The state’s commitment to consistent implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Charter is exemplary, including its ability to increase its Internally Generated Revenue to N44bn in 2019 from N13bn in 2015 without hiking tax rates. This is very laudable”, Buhari added.
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He commended the state government for keeping the summit alive since 2016 to push development in the state forward.
The President added, “It is a fitting statement of the resilience of the Kaduna State Government that it is able to host the 2020 edition amidst the severe disruptions to the normal order caused by Covid-19. This is the sort of determined focus that can help the country to navigate the challenging consequences of the pandemic.
“It was my pleasure to commission the Olam Hatchery and Feed Mill project in 2017, about 18 months after the ground-breaking was done at the first edition of KADInvest in 2016. It is commendable that investors like Tomato Jos are creating jobs in the agribusiness sector, taking advantage of Kaduna State’s prioritisation of agriculture.
“I also note with delight the success of new investments in renewable energy like Blue Camel and tractor assembly and the revitalisation of poultry farms across the state. The ongoing development of iron mining and steel processing capacity in the state through investments by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited is especially commendable.’’
On what the Federal Government was doing about job creation and attracting investments to the country, his spokesman, Femi Adesina, quoted him as saying, “We believe that much can be done at the sub-national level to drive human capital development and expand economic opportunity. I note with delight the massive investments in infrastructure upgrade Kaduna State is executing through the urban renewal programmes in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.
“Given the track record since 2015, I have no doubt that the Kaduna State Government and its private sector partners will take full advantage of the economic windows that are being opened by Federal Government investments such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
“The state government should afford full cooperation and support to cross-border federal projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Highway.”