Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday, said he did not attacked founder of Microsoft, Bill Gate over his statement on Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan.
The governor said the recent newspapers reports were not accurate as his state benefited immensely from the Bill Gates and Melinda foundations.
El-Rufai who spoke during one of the plenary sessions at the closing of the Kaduna Investment and Economic Summit (KADINVEST 3.0) said called on more foreign and local investors to take over the abundance investment opportunities in the state.
The governor added those who already invested like Olam among other investors are smiling and enjoying their investments as thousands of unemployed youths are been employed.
According to El-Rufai:”Coming to the economic recovery growth plan, we were all involved in it as state governments and we all keyed into it. The whole idea is that, we internalise the plan and support the macro plan. That is what we are doing in Kaduna.. We have our own development plan which aligns with the Federal Government economic recovery growth plan”
A few weeks ago, when Microsoft founder Bill Gate came to Nigeria and appealed to Nigerian government to invest more in education, I made a comment that was reported widely as attacking Bill Gate. It was not an attack on Bill Gate, it merely putting things in contest”
Bill Gate is a big partner, he has invested $1.6billion in Nigeria. And a large percentage of that money was invested in Kaduna State. I will not disclose how much, because other states will be envious.” El-Rufai said.
On his part, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi,who also spoke at the Summit,urged investors not to be dismayed by pockets of kidnapping in parts of the country, saying that investments can be used to end kidnapping in the country.
Amaechi praised the Kaduna people for their activism in social media, saying that it indicates how educated they are. “In the past none of you can send a video to a minister, now you don’t only send, you direct me on what to do.
“Last week, I got a video though I don’t know locomotive that brought people to Kaduna has lost power. Somebody sent me the video to show how much they are sweating. I responded immediately by forwarding that same video to the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation asking him to confirm. He got back to me to say one of our locomotives was bad and that it will be fixed immediately.
“So, I urged you to continue on that line of being active by making us accountable to you because without you there is no government. Without the Kaduna people there is no Malam el-Rufai and without the Kaduna people there is no Buhari.”
Speaking on why the railway fare was increased, Amaechi said government subsidized rail transportation with N40 million monthly: “some of you confronted me asking why should we increase cost of transportation of the railway.
“All of you rich men were enjoying subsidy, for each locomotive we spend N56 million. When we were charging you N600 we were getting N16 million. So all you big men, we are dashing you N40 million per month. So you take N40 million and you give us N16 million out of the N56 million.
“Actually rich men use the train but the actual intent of the President is to allow us to move the poor people from Kaduna to Abuja. But if you go to Idu Railway station or Rigasa Railway station, you will see big men park their cars and use the train by that chasing away the poor men” Amaechi said.