The people of Kano, Nigeria’s centre of commerce are enthusiastic that the state’s commercial muscle has started pulling new investments into the state with their attendant benefits. This is as new business ventures, including those with multinational outreaches, and industries have continued to spring up in different parts of the state.
For decades, the business sector in the state suffered serious setbacks leading to the shutdown of over 400 manufacturing plants in the state.
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According to sources at the Kano branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the closed manufacturing industries were among the hundreds existing in Sharada/Challawa and Bompai industrial areas of the state.
However, their closure has been attributed to the ongoing distortions in the Nigerian economy occasioned by instability in the management of foreign exchange (forex), insecurity, poor infrastructure, poor power supply, as well as increasing taxation.
Notwithstanding, it was observed that recently, the state has been recording the entry of new business brands, new international firms and new factories.
This, according to some experts, are the outcome of the state government’s establishment of the Kano Investment Promotion Agency (KanInvest) which is mandated to, among other issues, encourage, promote, coordinate and support investment activities in the state.
After almost three decades of the dearth of the confectionery industry in Kano, a multi-billion naira confectionery was recently opened in Kano under Mamuda Group of Companies. The confectionary will serve as the only functional confectionery operating in the state.
It was also learnt that international firms like Emirates Airline have indicated interest to begin operations from Kano.
Similarly, the multi-national Chicken Republic, a quick service restaurant chain and franchise that specialises in chicken recipes, especially fried chicken, has also made its presence in the state and has since grown its operations to six different locations in the state.
Some of the latest business brands that have entered into the Kano investment circle as at the beginning of 2021 include a French global hotel management firm, BON Hotel, which recently took over the management of the famous Grand Central Hotel under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
Another big player in the hospitality sector, Bristol Hotel, made its entry into the Kano hospitality circle about three years ago and since then it has been playing host to major events in the city.
Domino’s Pizza, an American multinational pizza restaurant chain that prides itself as the world’s largest and best pizza, also made its entry into the Kano market late 2020 alongside its partner, Cold Stone Creamery.
According to Gov Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the recent development in the investment sector of the state is attributed to the support the state is getting from the federal government.
Gov Ganduje listed the recently inaugurated Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and the Kano-Maradi rail road project, among others as key in attracting investment to the state.
The governor promised that the government “will continue providing security in the state so that our businesses will continue to thrive.”
He also urged the federal government to expedite action on the commissioning of the expanded international wing of the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).
Experts laud initiatives
A Kano-based economist, Malam Idris Muhammad Dani, said the new development in the state’s business sector was a welcome development in terms of increase in the state’s per capita income, as well as increase in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Malam Dani who is an expert on taxation, called on the new entries to be apt in payment of all taxes and dues to enable authorities to provide the needed infrastructure that would ensure an enabling environment for ease of doing business in the state.
A businessman at the Dawanau International Grain Market, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Hamisu described the development as a situation that needed to be addressed systematically.
According to him, the new entries can only be sustainable if measures by authorities concerned to ensure sourcing raw materials locally are put in place.