The Strategic Investment Drive of Gov Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State
Upon taking the mantle of leadership as the Executive Governor of Zamfara State on the 29th of May 2019, His Excellency Bello Mohammed MoN (Matawallen Maradun), did not waste time in indicating his interest and passion in restoring peace to the state, transforming the economy of the state and creating a conducive atmosphere for investment, business development and partnerships for the state and prospective foreign and local investors.
His Excellency Governor Bello Matawalle swung into action, setting machineries in motion to enable him achieve his vision, by quickly establishing the Investment and Public Private Partnership Directorate, and appointing a Special Adviser to head the Directorate.
The truth is that the vision and investment ideas of the Governor is yielding the desired fruit as the Investment Directorate has become very busy attracting various investments to the state as well as investing the resources of Zamfara State in profitable Real Estate investments in the Capital City of Nigeria, Abuja and Kaduna, that serves as the Headquarters of Northwestern region.
Zamfara State has joined the league of States like Lagos, Kano, Jigawa, bauchi, Kaduna, Nassarawa and Kwara State, that generate huge internal revenue from their Real Estate Investments in Abuja.
Zamfara State that was in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past has now transformed to a safe haven with investors flooding in like never before, a thing that never happened in the past with any administration in the State.
The success being recorded by Governor Bello Matawalle is not far connected to the fact that His Excellency is an all-rounder and a man on a mission to change the narrative in Zamfara State in terms of providing adequate infrastructures, and developmental projects in the education, health and economic sector of the State.
Today Governor Bello Matawalle has been able to provide the State with most of the social basic amenities such as clean water, good roads, electricity and affordable healthcare in the State capital, local government areas and all the 147 wards in the state.
Despite the fact that Governor Bello Matawalle met an empty treasury and accumulated debt to the tune of 350 billion naira when he came into power, he still manages to set aside resources for investment out of the meager Federal allocation the state receives monthly.
The Zamfara people feel blessed having someone like His Excellency Governor Bello Matawalle sitting on the drivers seat of the administration of the State and it is seen in their love for him and how he is openly appreciated by even indigenes and Government of other states, especially because of his wisdom and doggedness in handling insecurity in the Zamfara State and neighboring states.
He is a grass-root politician, educationist, a former legislator and an astute businessman that plans and projects accurately. All these qualities makes it easy for him to provide the people of the State with good governance that was lacking in the state for so many years.
The beauty of working with His Excellency Governor Bello Matawalle is that he gives you freehand to operate, especially when you display competent and innovative ideas.
The Investment Directorate under my stewardship has been able to make investments in properties worth a little above 10 billion naira, and gold deposits worth 2 billion naira, so the total investment made by the Directorate amounts to the tune of 12.035 billion naira under one and a half year, and we are still negotiating to acquire more properties for the state so as to increase the Internal Generated Revenue.
Most of the properties we have purchased has appreciated because we do thorough negotiation and in most cases purchase in what valuers describe as Forced Sale Value (FSV), thats why a block of six units of three bedroom flats we purchased at aviation District Abuja for 235 million naira now goes for 350 million naira within a short period of time.
The Latest acquisition of the state in their Real Estate investment through the Investment and Public Private Partnership Directorate is a functional five star hotel at Wuse II the posh area of the capital city of Abuja.
The hotel was offered for outright sale at 2.1 billion naira and it is built with modern day facilities and tasteful furnishings, however after intensive negotiations, and the advice from the consortium of three valuation consultants engaged by the Directorate, the price was slashed down tremendously to 1.8 billion naira. We wrote His Excellency the Governor for approval, which he did but requested we must ensure due process.
Shockingly, barely few weeks of purchasing this hotel, it has appreciated in value close to one billion naira, if the State wants to sell immediately it will go for about 2.7 billion naira.
The purchase of the hotel was a good deal that will pay off the total purchase price approximately in five years and still generate more revenue for the State in subsequent years, as well as create job opportunities for our youth.
The hotel is a brand of Best Premier Hotel, an internationally recognized chain of hotels that can be booked through hotel booking.com all over the world. This investment was purely and solely done by the Investment Directorate according to its mandate.The only involvement of His Excellency was his approval.
The Government of His Excellency Hon. Dr. Bello Matawalle went into aggressive reconstruction of most of our dilapidated properties in kaduna and abuja given them a greater value in the market today.
The Liaison office at Maitama Abuja that had a total value of 400 million naira is now wearing an amazing look giving the property a huge leap in value to the tune 2.6 billion naira.
The state property at Kaduna worth not than 100 million naira before has been reconstructed by Governor Bello Matawalle and now is valued at 2.8 billion naira, the Directorate is also making arrangements to convert this property into a hotel.
Zamfara State property at Mississippi Maitama, Abuja has also gone through modernization that increased the value to about 2.6 billion naira.
The present administration of Zamfara State under the leadership of His Excellency Governor Bello Matawalle should receive praises and accolade from the previous Government of Zamfara State for his business acumen and doing what they could not do when they wear in power, instead of making mischief with his noble achievements.
The previous administrations never invested the resources of the State, instead they disposed a lot of the State investment instruments in the custody of the State Investment and Property Development Company a parastatal under the Investment Directorate.
When I was appointed the Honorable Special Adviser to His Excellency on Investment and Public Private Partnerships, I took inventory of all the Investment Instruments and shares the State had, I was shocked to discover that most of the shares were illegally disposed and certain investments of the state could not be accounted for but the good news is that I will trace all the stolen, looted and state investments that was converted to personal ownership and return them back to the state following the right channel.
Zamfara State has never had it this good, and we keep thanking God for the gift of His Excellency Governor Bello Matawalle to the state, we are also undoubtedly grateful to His Excellency for serving the state diligently with a pure heart.