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BIPC Aspiring To Usher In Economic Prosperity Similar, Better Than Kaduna – MD


January 24, (THEWILL) – The Benue State Investment and Property Company (BIPC) says it is aspiring to organise the Beninvest 2024 Summit in the last quarter of the year to usher in economic prosperity similar to, or more than that obtainable in Kaduna State.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr Raymond Asemakaha, who disclosed this at a news conference in Makurdi on Tuesday, noted that with the summit, the main target will be to make Benue State the number one investment destination in Nigeria, thereby attracting both foreign and local investments.

He disclosed that companies such as Olam and Breweries have left the state because of the cumbersome ways of doing business in the state, assuring that as the Managing Director, he moved on to change the trajectory.

“When I assumed office last November, I moved swiftly to organise the first-ever Benue Local Investors Forum (BELIF2023), where we brought local investors together to identify challenges confronting investment and hindering business operations in the state.

“The Benue Local Investors Forum (BELIF2023) attempts to bring on board a pool of investors using the KADinvest model, which is why we brought Nur Khali Nur, the former Executive Secretary to Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), to serve as our guest speaker,” he stated.

According to Dr Asemakaha, BIPC has since built a synergy with Mr Nur, Kaduna State, and other technocrats to ensure that Benue State gets the desired investment.

“I’m currently embarking on a visit to the assets of the company to receive briefs on their states. First, I visited the company’s Fountain Estate in Nyorgyungu, Makurdi, where, although laudable as the project is, many financial impropriety issues were observed. For instance, over 700 million was disbursed for the project, yet when I took over, only 16 out of the 30 units were completed,” he said.

He described it as disheartening that even though the company had agreed to execute the project on direct labour, however, a contractor was engaged without award papers and that the project was not completed, saying steps are being taken to ensure the completion of the product.

“We have also gone to the Makurdi Guests House of the Company and the proposed Makurdi Shopping Mall and are carrying out critical reforms to ensure that we net profit in the company.

“Just last week, we carried out strategic audits of our leased assets in Abuja, particularly with the Taj Bank and Cosgrove. My findings at the Taj Bank were satisfactory owing to the quantum of investment the bank has made in the Benue Plaza.

“Even though I have some concerns about the lease agreement, the bank agreed to, together with my management, revisit the grey areas. We were rather dismayed with the percentage of the joint venture agreement that the company entered into with Cosgrove, and as such, we have decided to revisit the joint venture agreement,” he stated.

He insists that BIPC, under him, has moved to further formulate projects that will stimulate the economy and improve the GDP from 5.4 to 8 million dollars, and will soon launch Benue Palm Oil.

“Palm oil is being imported into the country, and today, because of the global economic crisis and the blocking of the Red Sea, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get the product here. As a matter of urgency, we plan to set up a palm plantation in each zone of the state to start a palm plantation.

“In a few years to come, it will provide raw materials for the plant with surpluses exported. As such, I’ve therefore directed our real estate and investment department to commence work on 10 out of the 23 hectares of land the company has in Abinsi, Guma LGA area of the state, for the palm plantation project. We also agreed that the remaining 13 hectares of land at Abinsi would be used for a low-income earners’ Estate in the state,” he said.

According to the BIPC Managing Director, the aim is for those who earn as little as N500,000, the amortisation policy will permit such low-income earners to also have homes, pointing out that the management also enforced a recovery order for a property that was recovered back in 2019 but was not enforced.

The process of turning the space of the 33-room property into a Benue Water Factory to become a player in the water industry, he said, was on, noting that as part of a short-term approach to expanding the businesses of the Company, the BIPC pastries have been introduced.

Asemakaha, therefore, thanked Governor Hyacinth Alia for finding him worthy of appointment as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company and promised not to betray the confidence.

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