Posted by on 2/4/2003 1:41:39 PM

Economic Climate: The state government has a blueprint on economic development of Kogi State. Kogi Investment Company was set up with a share capital of N10 million to provide adequate guide on funding for viable projects. The State government also completed and commissioned a shopping cen tre with twenty shops and fourteen kiosks at Lokoja. The State government encourages investors to come to the state, and the provision of the required infrastructure and other incentives is assured.

Industrial estates have been developed in Oziokutu and Obangede in Okehi, Osochi Okodo in Okene as well as in Kabba/Bunu, MopaMuro and Yagba East LGAs. These are provided with water, elec tricity, access roads, drainage and telecommunica tions, i.e. sites and services. Certificates of Occupancy for plot of land and local participatory finance are also available from the state govern ment.

Other incentives offered by the Federal Government include taxholiday of threetofive years, approved user scheme, accelerated depreci ation of capital investment, excise duty conces sions and tax relief for research and development and for siting an industry in a disadvantaged area.

PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE The oneword prescription for the development of Africa by Lord Lugard who lived in Lokoja at the beginning of this century was "transport." One should not be that naive a hundred years later, by Innkinn fnr a merit of Kogi State in the physical environment in 3 the new millennium. This is because the develop / ment of any human society is indeed a complex i, process.

Today, the catch words are hardwork, 3 morality and ethics. With these, Kogi State should r, therefore focus on the following priorities: i, (i) Education and manpower development, s gear towards producing a highly qualita n live labour force should be encouraged <r from the primary school level to the terti it ary institutions.

With specialised educa tion in selfemployment, small and medi d urnscale production will increase. d (ii) Natural resources should be judiciously ,r exploited for the good of all and with min imal damage to the ecosystem. Land and e water resources, especially in the valleys e of Rivers Niger and Benue, including the potentials for irrigation and fisheries, should be looked into.

it '' ,Energy and industrial production in the state will likely increase as a result of " tremendous improvements in air, land and water transportation and telecommu nication in the new millennium. ,Landuse and physical development in ;. the growing towns and cities in the state, , especially the twentyone local govern n ment headquarters, should be given the )t required attention within the Urban and i Regional Planning Decree 88 of 1992 it with subsequent amendments.

These include, the provision and proper plan o ning of roads, land development, ( schools, health delivery services and public utilities with minimal environmental pollution, Tourism is likely to become a big revenue, earner for the state, if not the leading one, as the potentials for recreation and sports ) offered by the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, the undulating landscape, varied scenery and rock outcrops will be fully utilised in the new millennium.

CONCLUSION Kogi State could be called the "Iron and Steel state," in view of the tremendous potentials of these for the future industrialisation of the state and the country. Other natural resources which abound in the state have been discussed in this chapter, but it there is the need to close the gap between the presence of resources and the proper and efficient utilization of same for the development of the state. This is the important task ahead for both the private and public sectors.



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