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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

World Bank, DfID develop investment websites for Lagos, 3 others

The World Bank and United Kingdom (UK)-based aid agency, the Department for International Development (DfID) has developed four websites for three states under the Investment Climate Programme (ICP) partnership.

The benefiting states include Lagos, Cross River, Kaduna and Kano, just as it was created to serve as one-stop shop to improve investment opportunities in these states.

Confirming this in a press statement by Ms Victoria Udoh, a World Bank Consultant on Communications and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), on Monday in Abuja said the measure had helped to reduce business registration time significantly among these states.

Nkechi Okoronkwo of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that according to her, key investor information and contact information for interested businesses could be viewed at www.investincrossriver.com; www.kadunainvest.com; www.investinkano.gov.ng and www.lagosstate.gov.ng.

Also, Ms Udoh was quoted as saying that the benefiting state governments have opened an international trade office in the United States to promote and stimulate greater investment.

She noted that the developments were fallouts from the investor information reform being promoted by the World Bank and DFID Investment Climate Programme (ICP).

These developments, she said, were announced during the `Investor Relations’ workshop held in Abuja under the auspices of the ICP with the representatives of Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Cross River States in attendance, with the theme “How states have been working to improve the quality and availability of information to assist in mobilising greater investments into the state.”

NAN further learnt that the four states are piloting the ICP initiative, aimed at improving their economies with a view to eventually achieving national transformation.

Just as the workshop was the third in the series of ‘Peer Learning’ workshops organised as part of the ICP. The two previous ones focused on land and tax administration reforms respectively.

Kaduna and Lagos States have developed databases on the unemployed and the informal sector to help bolster business start-ups and reduce inter-generational transfer of poverty, while Kano State’s ICT Park is attracting ``strong’’ interest from companies, the statement said.

It noted that Lagos State had produced a comprehensive business directory, reflecting names and addresses of legitimate business owners with their products and services.

It has also computerised tax and land administrative systems to make them more user-friendly to investors, through the creation of the General Information System (GIS) mapping for land registration.

Kaduna State reported that many government staff had been trained on Information Technology and provision of internet connectivity.

The four states, the statement added, had developed websites for investment promotion, containing detailed information on key projects that had been undertaken, as well as key information on upcoming projects.


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