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THE CONFLUENCE CITY: THE NEW FACE OF INVESTMENT

By Vivian Chidinma
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Kogi State, popularly called the Confluence State because the confluence of River Niger and River Benue is found in the central region of Nigeria. Kogi state came into being as a result of the state creation exercise on 27th of August, 1991 with the administrative headquarters in Lokoja.

The creation of the state was indeed a significant development for its citizens. This is because it brought about the reunion of a people who had shared historical roots and co-existed peacefully with the former Kabba province in the defunct Northern Region for more than 80 years.

Presently, the state is structured into 21 LGAs comprises of three major ethnic groups i.e. Igala, Ebira and Okun (Yoruba) other minor groups include Bassa Komo, Bassa Nge, Kakanda, Kupa, Ogori-Magongo, Nupe, Oworo, Gwari etc.

Kogi state has a total land area of 28,313.53 square kilometers and a projected population of 3.3 million people. The state is blessed with geological feature depicting young sedimentary rocks and alluvium along the riverbeds, which promotes agricultural activities. Agriculture used to be the mainstay of the economy especially in respect to cash crops such a oil palm, groundnut, coffee and cocoa, alongside mineral resources such as coal, limestone and iron.

Aside from its geological feature which aids in agricultural activities, Kogi State, by virtue of its geography, offers interested individuals a unique type of tourist experience. These attractions include natural land features, fascinating sceneries, historic monuments and relics.

Being only 2-hour drive from Abuja, the state in recent times has become a new haven for development. This is aside the fact that the state has one of the largest land mass in Nigeria thus offering land for manufacturing and industry.

The state is home to the largest iron and steel industry in Nigeria known as Ajaokuta Steel Company

Limited and also one of the largest cement factories in Africa, the Obajana Cement Factory which opened its production line in June 2012.

Following this lead is Lathitha Wine, South African Brewery Company who will be collaboration with South African Embassy in Nigerian to explore and harness all investment potentials that can be found in Kogi State for economic development.

The Executive Director of the company, Mr Haruna Madisca, was quoted stating some of the development to be expected. They include replication of the Lathitha wine factory, agriculture, mining, tourism/hospitality as well as establishment of Shoprite Stores in the state capital, Lokoja amongst other long term investments. Already, 28 hectares of land has been acquired in Bassa Local Government area of the state.

Much exploration needs to be done for Kogi state as the state posses not only because the state can boast of mineral, agriculture and space, it is also a fertile land for all forms of business development like citing of retail outlets and business district.

But before this can be done, proper infrastructural development needs to be set in motion.

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