Globally renowned for its age-long unique culture and tradition, Kano combines a rich heritage, coupled, with its flair for hospitality, trade and investment, which local and international investors cannot afford to ignore. Kano is a remarkable commercial hub, having been the nucleus of the famous Trans Saharan trade for decades.
To date, it remains Nigeria’s second largest and commercial nerve centre for the Northern part of the country, including some parts of North Africa. The state plays the role of a regional trade hub serving markets for over 300 million people located in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Mali, among others
The state is blessed, with the semi-arid Sudan Savannah vegetation advantage, sandwiched by the Sahel Savannah in the North and the Guinea Savannah in the South. The Savannah zone aptly provides opportunity for optimum human attainment, primarily due to its rich faunal and floral resources, fitness for cereal agriculture and livestock rearing, coupled with the accessibility of the environment, natural resources and manufactured goods.
Also, Kano is popular as a tourist attraction, largely because of its annual, colourful Durbar and widely acclaimed largest procession of horses, adorned, with colourful robes, compared to what obtains globally. It is indeed a great display of African culture.
However, its most enduring legacy Gidan Rumfa (Emir’s Palace), the seat of its prestigious Emirate Council, established over 500 years ago is located in the heart of Kano city.
Infrastructure investments in the state have added value to its attractiveness, as a destination for business. It has an international airport, with accessible interwoven road network across the state, which links neighbouring states, with ease. Meanwhile, the state government under Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has embarked on the construction of more urban and rural roads, flyovers and underpasses to ease transportation.
Also, the Federal Government is currently re-constructing the Lagos–Kano railway, which will further enhance the state’s connectivity to the Lagos port. On the strength of the foregoing and many more, Governor Ganduje led a delegation from the state to participate in the eight edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The AIM is the world’s leading and most recognized gathering of the international investment community, policy makers, leading academics and experts, showcasing up-to-date information, strategies and knowledge on attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The eight edition of AIM was held from April 9-11, 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, with top-level officials from across the world in attendance. The theme of the conference was: “Linking Developed and Emerging Markets through FDI: Partnerships for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”.
At Nigeria’s presentation session, which the Minister of State for Investment, Aisha Abubakar, was in attendance, Ganduje said Kano was ever ready to optimally support FDI and “has favourable incentives for investors, such as: free land for the establishment of industrial/manufacturing ventures, adequate tax holidays or relief for industrial ventures, provision of adequate infrastructure, water, electricity etc. for business stability, as well as secure environment.”
According to him, the state government also has excellent legal and other support services in stock for ease of business, which he believes would provide support for local employment of staff, as well as facilitate transfer of dividend or profit net of taxes in addition to zero tolerance for corruption. Citing an example of the government’s openness to FID, Ganduje disclosed that: “A Chinese multinational company, Shandong Ruyi Technology, has already embraced the benefits of our liberal investment policy and is investing over $600 million in the textile and garments industry in Kano.”
This is even as another multinational, Dangote Group, and its partner, Black Rhino Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the commencement of construction of a 100-megawatt solar power plant in the state. In addition, Ganduje acknowledged that the state was ranked the 23rd (2017) in the Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank and this influenced the decision of the state to re-double efforts to remain investor-friendly.
This has made Kano the most successful Public-Private Partnership (PPP) state in Nigeria, he affirmed. Commenting on the investment sector, the governor said that the state has more than 18,648 square kilometres of available land for cultivation, stressing that Kano is the most irrigated state in the whole of Nigeria.
To this end, he noted that unlimited opportunities abound for investors across the value chain of agriculture, especially rice, wheat, millet and vegetable farming, as well as ranching, dairy production, leather processing and halal meat abattoir.
“The state has abundant natural resources in the solid mineral sectors, such as lead, zinc, tin, kaolin, molybdenum, silver, copper, lithium, niobium, feldspar, silica, gold, granite, gemstone, etc.,” he said.
There is also vast opportunity for investment in such critical areas, as the Kano Economic City, which on completion is expected to be the largest modern market in Nigeria, ICT, education, infrastructure, renewable energy, manufacturing and low cost housing.
In this connection, the establishment of KanInvest, the state investment agency, a One-stop-shop for investors in the state, was aimed at not only attracting but increasing investment appeal, as well as facilitate public-private partnership and generally assist and coordinate investment activities in the state. On a last note, Governor Ganduje extended invitation to investors to explore Kano’s investment opportunities, so as to appreciate the mouth-watering incentives at their disposal.