When was KADIPA established?
KADIPA was established by Law No.17 on December 23, 2015 and it began operations in 2016, what the agency does is to promote, facilitate, and originates invesyments into Kaduna State via Greenfield Projects, commercialisation, public-private-partnership PPP and privatisation. We are also tasked wih showcasing the state via summit roundtables, brochures etc.
We are also tasked with the ease of doing business, that is ensuring that there is a good business environment, we do that by coordinating the relevant ease of doing business facing ministries, departments and agencies MDAs to ensure that businesses and investors get their liscences, permits, Cof Os within a very reduced amount of time.
It is because of these efforts that we have been ranked No.1 in the ease of doing business ranking of 2018 by the World Bank. We have also expanded the portfolio of investments in Kaduna State from little to noyhing of about $ 2.billion in both pledges and actual grants.
We have been able to increase the state’s internally generated revenue IGR from N13 billion in 2015 to about N50.7 billion in 2020 due to all the concerted efforts of automating all the processes of the MDAs for the ease of doing business. We have done this without increasing taxes, we just enforced collection and automated the service within the Kaduna Internal Revenue Service.
Other reforms include the creation of KADGIS, the Geographic Information Service, the Consolidated Tax Law as well, etc.
We established the two economic zones, the Green Economic Zone and the Green Agro Allied Zone, we would be able to situte business there and market them accordingly.
What are the core areas of your mandate?
We are tasked with economic development in Kaduna State, what this entails is that we are trying to leverage private capital to grow the state’s economy, because we believe the state government should not just be an employer of workers, moreso 75% of the population is below the ages of 35, so we want to ensure that these businesses are the ones employing people across the state, so our focus is to ensure we market the state, bring in investors who will create jobs that will eventually feed into the IGR of the state.
Once investors come they create impact within the community, provide the much needed infrastructure, utilities etc. across the state, so the focus is to ensure Kaduna State has enabling environment for businesses to come in so we can leverage private capital.
With the laid-back attitude of the average Northerner where do the businesses come from, are they domestic or foreign?
They are within the state but we have a few foreing direct investment FDIs outside the state, those are the large investm,ents like $6-50 million from large industries like Dangote etc., but the number of domestic investors that we have are more than the foreing direct investment. The only difference is that with the FDIs its the size of the investment, e.g. someone from US would bring a million dollars but internally we have people who set up small factories, those ones are 10,000 or 100,000 dollars worth.
And what is the attraction for investors?
The attraction is that they have seen a government that has the actual political will for them to set up their businesses, what that entails is that we have a state development plan, we have said we are going to transition the state’s economy into a knowldge-based economy.
They knmow that our Governor, Nasir El-Rufa’i is someone who is serious, someone who would not joke with their investments which we give serious priority to, once they see all of these they approach us, they apply, we vet them via the investor checklist, we take them to site, they inspect the land they wish to invest on, we ensure they get all the necessary permits and licences for them to take off, and after that again we are tasked with ensuring the business retention and expansion, its called after-care services, we want to ensure that they remain in Kaduna and expand their businesses to even create more jobs for our teeming youths.
But I say political will, regulatory environment, we don’t want policy somersault, we have sat down to institute deliberate policy measures that will cater to businesses, and so far, so good.
For interested investors what are the requirements?
We have this investor check list, the basic rquirement is that you make your submission, your company profile, tax clearance, and the we vet your technical and financial capability, how much expertise do you really have within the industry, your experience, etc., and who is your technical partner, we sit down and meet with investors on a case by case basis.
And then we assess your financial capablity, do you have the money to mobilise to site, once we do all these checks, we do our recommendation to the relevant MDA e.g. KADGIS or KASUPDA, but we are there to coordinate because we are the one-stop shop investment center for investors.
What was the scenario before and after since your coming on board in 2018?
Initially we had moribund industries, nobody was marketing the state, our industrial hub was zero, no activity, so we went from $2.8 million, about $1.3 was actually on ground, Olam, the Steel industry in Kagarko and other large scale investments, the other ones are the pledges they are coming up the green economic zones, the Green Economic and Allied zones, for the pldges we are the ones processing permits, licences etc. for them to mobilize to site, so we’d say we are doing fairly good, we want to see if we’ll add up to make up to the $2.8 bn, so we’re doing fairly good, we want to add more tha $500 m within the end of the administration.
In all these sectors that you mentioned which one is the most profitable in terms of invesments?
Definitely its the agricultural sector because we’re an agrarian state, we have a few $100m portfolio projects in the agric sector, the reason why the solid mineral sector is the largest is because of the Africa Natural Resources and Mines Devt. Ltd, in Kagarko, Kaduna State, the steel plant that they are trying to do, that’s the largest FDI project in 2020.
This steel plant is probably the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, it is going to revolutionize the industrialization of the North if not Nigeria itself, it will be making flat sheets needed by Dangote car plant, they talking about completing the steel plant in 2022, so we are monitoring to ensure they stick to the work plan, but its a big one that will add serious value, creating upwards of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, this is part of our effort to ensure the kick-start of the industrial hub in Kaduna State.
Insecurity is no doubt a challenge, what other challenges are you facing?
Aside from security the other challenge is just getting people to be in line with your state development plan, the government has indicated its plan, the private sector will give us their input, we all come together to see how we can push the economy forward, so sensitization is a challenge, we want people to know more about what we are doing, that KADIPA is here to help investors, so people will know where they channel their greivances, we’re also going to continue to hold our quarterly business meetings and monthly roundtables that people can engage us sectoral wise we’ll be doing public private dialogues, this one is more technical, you tell us your challenges and we tackle those challenges. The investment aspect is part and parcel of the solution
After security sensitization is second, but we need more data, then within the local community themselves we said we’ll reach out to the LGs who’ll reach out to the Chairmen, we’ll sensitize them and the desk officers who will reach out to all the associations, this was like the kind of Business Breakfast we had recently.
We have three metropolitan administrative areas in Kaduna state, Zaria, Kaduna and Kafanchan, it is to utilize our relationship with the administrators who will market each metropolitan area so the message gets to the grassroots. So its for us to localise the solutions with a global outlook.
How are you leveraging on marketing Kaduna beyond the shores of Nigeria?
In the investment promotion agency game we’re number one, a lot of state come to engage us in peer learning reviews, we try to take from as many IPAs in the country, Kaduna State is however No. 1 in the Ease of Doing Business ranking in Nigeria, No.1 in Transparency Index, so we’re going global, we’ve joined the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, engaging MSMEs to see how bringing investors will boost their capacity, now the next phase is transition to a knowledge-based economy, we’re focusing on three key pillars, digital economy, value-added economic activity, and infrastructural development, and to see how service the entire Nigerian market and how do we integrate all these into the world global value chain. We want Kaduna State to be a technology hub. We have another one with the World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation. We are training the youths on how to become freelancers. So the digital economy drive is there.We are very data driven, just check our website.
We are also partnering NIPC, Kaduna State is their shining star, we’re also partnering NEPC, NEXIM Bank, BOI, MSMEs etc. creating linkages. KADIPA has contributed a lot to the boosting of IGR in Kaduna state. So far, so good.