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NEWS ANALYSIS: Harnessing Kogi’s potential for economic prosperity, stability



NEWS ANALYSIS: Harnessing Kogi’s potential for economic prosperity, stability

A news analysis, Nigerian News Agency

Describing Kogi as the most strategic state in Nigeria will not be out of place considering its location on the country’s map: the confluence state and gateway from one end of the country to the other.

The former seat of colonial masters that forms a vital part of Nigerian history is also rich in vast natural resources, arable land for agriculture, tourism and cultural attractions, and human resources.

Because of this, Kogi is expected to pass as one of the country’s economic hubs and a source of foreign direct investment from Nigeria.

However, achieving this goal has been Governor Yahaya Bello’s focus since he took office as governor of the state in January 2016, determined to lead the state to economic prosperity and stability.

Correctly establishing his priorities, the governor began the renewal of all sectors of the state under what he called: “The New Direction Administration”.

Without a doubt, this has produced several successes, among which is the attraction of foreign investors to Kogi, considering also the leaps and bounds made to make Kogi one of the safest states.

“We will continue to strategically protect our state and people because, without security, there can be no meaningful development,” he said.

Realizing the importance of boosting the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Bello revamped the nearly defunct Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) with a building and services overhaul.

Fulfilling his mandate, KGIRS Acting Chief Executive Mr. Yusufu Aubakar said that by the end of 2020, the agency had collected N17.5 billion as IGR, with efforts underway to generate N1.3 billion monthly.

However, the IGR has assisted in development projects throughout the state to support the state’s monthly allocation from the federal government, which is among the lowest recipient states.

These funds have invested across sectors to make a laudable impact on the state and the lives of residents.

The state in the “New Management Administration” led by Bello has witnessed visible successes in the areas of health, education, agriculture, culture and tourism.

In the health sector, Bello has invested heavily in financing health and paying health workers, which is why doctors in the state do not join the Nigerian Medical Association’s national strikes.

The administration also constructed and renovated several health facility buildings in the state, upgrading Okene General Hospital to a state-of-the-art referral hospital.

The referral hospital is expected to serve as a teaching hospital for the newly established Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara.

Bello pointed out that this would reduce the rate of medical tourism in the country and the hospital would be built to a world-class standard to respond to any type of health situation.

“The ultra-modern referral hospital is designed to meet international standards with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities.

“The hospital will fill the need for better medical care and mark the complete end of medical tourism in Kogi and Nigeria,” said Bello.

The educational sector has not been left out either with the constitution of CUSTECH to join other state institutions, payment of scholarships to students, delivery of scholarships and aid to students, among others.

Bello said that CUSTECH was established to boost Nigeria’s education system and put a logical end to the inability of indigenous Kogi to study desired courses due to lack of admission to other institutions.

“My administration was greatly disturbed by the experiences of hundreds of young Kogi who were unable to pursue careers in science and technology due to very limited vacancies at universities outside of Kogi.

“This trend became so worrying that we just had to act as a government to bring it to the only logical end. Problems make me combative for solutions,” said Bello.

The agricultural sector also received a boost from the New Direction Administration, which got the World Bank to applaud Bello for introducing sustainable agriculture programs in the state.

The administration has also ensured the timely payment of salaries, the construction of highways throughout the state, and the launch of rural development projects to bring development to the grassroots as well.

The great advances in security amid the high rate of insecurity throughout the country have also earned the governor much international and national praise, attracting foreign investors to the state.

In November 2021, a Dutch company, Euro LPG BV Holland, expressed interest in building gas plants in Kogi.

The international company specializes in the engineering, manufacturing and supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas and industrial gases and their related equipment for storage and transportation.

Company chairman Dr. Wahaab Abdullah said Kogi was chosen for the project due to sustained security in the state.

One of Bello’s frantic efforts to boost Kogi as the country’s economic hub materialized with President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent announcement naming Kogi as one of Nigeria’s oil-producing states.

This will again boost the economic activities of the state and create job opportunities for the locals.

The governor, in fulfillment of his commitment to revive the state’s economy, also in November 2021, inaugurated the start of the hydrographic survey and mapping of the Lower Niger and Benue rivers from Lokoja to Burutu.

Bello praised the initiative that was born Public Partnership of Nigeria Export-Import Bank Plc. in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and the National Inland Waterways Authority.

He said that the project will generate more than a million direct and indirect jobs for the youth of the state and the country.

Bello is committed to continuous efforts to develop policies and projects that will make Kogi take its place as one of the economic centers of Nigeria.

In addition to this, Bello said that his administration was interested in ensuring the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company.

He noted that he had been in talks with President Muhammadu Buhari to get the company up and running before the end of his administration. (Articles) (

**If used, please credit the writer and Nigerian News Agency

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