By Ismaila Uba Misilli
Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya and some governors recently accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit in London.
The summit, hosted by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on Monday January 20, 2020 focused on strengthening business relationship with Nigeria and other African countries. It brought together African leaders, international business executives and heads of international organisations to create new partnerships aimed at delivering more investments and jobs to the benefit of people and businesses in African countries and the United kingdom.
Apart from actively participating in the plenary, Governor Inuwa Yahaya held sideline meetings and discussions with investors and development partners to explore mutual business opportunities.
During the series of engagements, the Governor pushed for viable and sustainable partnership that will attract investment and development with win-win strategy for investors, Gombe state and its citizenry.
The Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) team at the summit, impressed by Governor Yahaya’s disposition, indicated interest towards mobilizing investments to Gombe State, having identified business potentials in Agriculture, mining, oil and gas among others. The NIPC’s discussions with Governor Inuwa Yahaya centered around boosting economic activities as well as creating job opportunities to reduce unemployment.
The People’s Governor also had fruitful discussions with the Director of Infrastructure Investment of the Commonwealth Development Corporation, Mr. Chris Chijiutomi who expressed readiness to key into development areas like agriculture, solar energy, gas and the proposed Gombe industrial park.
Similarly, Department for International Development, DFID, the United Kingdom’s government department responsible for administering overseas aid with goal of promoting sustainable development and eliminating world poverty has indicated interest to complement developmental efforts of Governor Inuwa Yahaya.
The Head of Department for International Development, DFID, Chris Pychroft was excited with Gombe Governor’s passion for development issues, particularly by focusing on education, health, agriculture and social welfare.
Governor Yahaya had during a meeting with the DFID chief, highlighted the peculiar and special nature of Gombe state and solicited for the multi sectoral support as embedded in the agency’s programmes, including human capital development as well as civil service reforms.
Furthermore, the governor met with John Howell MP, who is the Special Envoy of the British Prime Minister on Trade at the House of Commons, where the two leaders discussed government to government deals as UK is now redirecting its focus to Nigeria and other African nations.
Also, during a meeting with Lord McConnell, Governor Yahaya discussed private sector investment mobilization for Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) in Gombe state where he secured the commitment of the SDGs advocate to mobilize more support on human capital development as a variable platform for achieving the SDGs.
Not done, Governor Yahaya also had a discussion with Rabih el Fadel, the Managing Director of Hiltron/ ZEF UK which centred around possibility of mapping of street lights in Gombe with a view to developing a green alternative solution to diesel, including capacity building, renewable energy, smart city with low carbon emission initiative among others.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya, as a strategic and business minded leader is indeed pushing for ways of building viable and sustainable partnership that will attract investment, development, create jobs as well as propel economic growth in Gombe.
Conclusively, the governor’s appearance on Radio and Television sections of the BBC Hausa service during his visit to their headquarters at Portland, London gave him another opportunity to market Gombe state to investors, development partners and the world at large, apart from discussing other salient national and international issues.
No doubt, Gombe will be one of the investment destinations due to the peace and security, infrastructure and incentives available for investors in the Savannah state. It is only a matter of time for the state to begin to reap the avalanche of blessings from this trip.
Misilli is the Senior Special Assistant ( Media and Publicity) to Gombe state Governor