In just under a month, Senator Bala Mohammed, the Governor of Bauchi State, embarked on visits to key global business hubs and centers of excellence, accompanied by key members of his administration and private sector entrepreneurs from the state. His first stop was at the World Cities Forum and Regional Leaders Summit in Jinan, the capital of China’s Shandong Province. Subsequently, he attended the 8th World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The primary objectives of these visits were clear: to attract investments and foster partnerships,leadership report.
During the visit to China, the Bauchi State Government signed two significant memoranda of understanding. The first MOU was inked between the Bauchi State Government and the Government of Shandong Province, China. It aimed at mutual cooperation, economic friendship, inter-country business exchange, and value addition in critical economic sectors. The second MOU was between the Bauchi State Government and Minsheng Group LMT, focusing on a strategic cooperation framework agreement between China and Nigeria. These agreements are intended to promote trade and investment, enhance industrial capacity, support green energy initiatives, improve food security, and combat poverty in Bauchi State.
Shandong, renowned as the third-largest economy in China in 2019, boasts a diversified economy with strengths in logistics, electronics, ICT, agro-food, automotive, chemicals, shipbuilding, and marine technology. These align with Bauchi State’s interests, especially in developing its ICT, agro-allied, chemical, and automotive value chains. Notably, Bauchi has been home to Steyr Nigeria Limited since 1976, known for manufacturing heavy-duty road haulage and agricultural machinery, such as tractors, trucks, and buses. The Bauchi-Shandong sister city agreement may lead to the revival of this once-thriving agric and logistics machinery manufacturer.
Governor Bala Mohammed underscored the growing relationship between China and Africa, emphasizing that Nigeria and China have a mutual respect and a strong trading partnership. Leveraging this renewed commitment between the two countries is a central part of his strategy to benefit Bauchi State.
To comprehend the Governor’s mission, it’s essential to consider his “My Bauchi First” philosophy, aiming to transform Bauchi State from an agrarian society to an industrialized one. This involves harnessing the state’s land resources, solid minerals, agricultural value chain, hydrocarbons, animal husbandry, and more.
Bauchi State’s impressive performance in the ease of doing business index, ranking between 4th and 6th among Nigerian states and Abuja, reflects its commitment to transparency, accountability, inclusion, and infrastructure development. The state’s recognition for having the best rural infrastructure by the Federal Government also appeals to potential investors, especially in agriculture and solid minerals.
Governor Bala Mohammed has prioritized human capital development, launching the Oil & Gas academy and various skills acquisition programs. This ensures access to skilled and cost-effective labor for businesses, ensuring a seamless operation and a good return on investment.
The Governor’s investment drive in Abu Dhabi and China is a forward-looking move to modernize and transform Bauchi State, leaving a legacy of sustainable development. It focuses on collaboration with development partners to promote local products globally, emphasizing small businesses and the micro, small, and medium scale sectors.
In addition to agriculture and minerals, Bauchi State is described as the tourism pearl of Nigeria, with attractions like the Yankari Games Reserve. With investments and proper management, Bauchi’s tourism sector has significant potential for both tourists and investors.
The recent resumption of regular flights to Bauchi has opened up opportunities for business travel. The state’s investment climate is favorable, backed by a commitment to people’s participation in development programs, ensuring that efforts lead to sustainable progress and development.