Taraba State Governor, Arc Darius Dickson Ishaku has described Taraba as a state of immense potentials waiting to be harnessed.
Gov. Ishaku who was speaking during a virtual meeting with US-based Foreign Development and Investment Groups led by Mahmood Mustapha Founder & Futurist FiLab, Silvio F. Pupo CEO Logos Capital, and Peter Mendez President & CEO 1st SOS Inc.
Mendez noted Taraba was desperately looking for investment partners that could assist the state in growing its economy to adequately take care of the growing needs of the youths in the state for gainful employment.
The groups’ areas of special interest, which formed the major plank of discussion during the meeting is the development of investment opportunities for boosting economic growth.
The team had earlier told Gov. Ishaku that the groups have expertise in the establishment of malls, promotion of agriculture, the hospitality industry and mineral resources development and marketing.
Ishaku who was apparently elated by the level of experience of the groups in these areas assured them of the willingness of his administration to partner with them to quicken the pace of development of the state.
He said the idea of establishing a mall was a great attraction and suggested that the first branch of the mall be located in Jalingo.
This, he said, would complement the success of his administration’s Green House project in Jalingo which is already enjoying an expansive market for its products.
The products which include tomatoes, pepper, lettuce, cucumber and other vegetables will use the malls as its primary outlets.
He promised to put a helicopter owned by the State Government at the disposal of the group to facilitate the collaboration.
Another major area of discussion was how to expand rice farming, packaging and marketing. Ishaku told the group that Taraba has one of the best soil to grow rice and required assistance in promoting its marketing.
He said more than sixteen thousand rice farmers in the state have been empowered by his administration since 2017, all whom have become prosperous and the envy of other Tarabans.
He said his administration was determined to do much more for farmers through dry season rice farming which is more productive.
He said he would want to see many small but functional rice mills established in the state as part of the partnership.
He requested for the expert advice and assistance of the group for his government to make farming more attractive to youths in the state.
He also requested for collaboration with the group to promote tourism in Taraba State, noting that the Gashaka Gumti Park located in the state was already attracting international attention.
He said the state was already negotiating an agreement with African Nature Investment for a 30-year lease agreement of the park.
He told the American investment group that the Park is the largest in Africa and is available for investment.
Ishaku told the group not to be frightened by stories of insecurity in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.
He said though Taraba is located in the region, it is not affected heavily by insecurity, caused by Boko Insurgency.
He extended the invitation of the State Government to the group to visit Taraba State soon to learn more about the state
Earlier, each member of the group had briefed the Governor on their experience in investment promotion and assured him of their determination to work with the government to quicken the pace of development in Taraba State.
The group is to develop a proposal based on the discussion and agreed areas of collaboration for the Governor to study and approve.