By Abdulganiyu Hanafi
Kwara State was created on 27th May 1967 along with other eleven states in Nigeria. The state was initially part of the former Northern Region. At its creation in 1967, it was called “Central Western State” but later changed to Kwara state. The state is an active player in Nigeria politics. The capital of kwara is Ilorin.
The state is populated by Yoruba, Fulani, Baruba, Batonu, etc. This explains the rich culture of its people thus making it a tourist attraction to the visitors. The population is about 3.5million.
Kwara State is an investment destination .As at now, the state has many industries which include Kamwire, Dangote Flour Mill, Tuyil Pharmaceuticals, Foams Industries and many more.The State has what it takes to accommodate more industries. Indeed investors from Lagos and Kano stand the better chance of setting up subsidiaries of their companies in the strategically located States. Large parts of the population of the surrounding State add up to the existing population of the State which is over 3 Million. The state has a good market for manufacturing goods as the state is patronized by traders from all her neighbouring states such as Osun, Oyo, Kogi, Ekiti and Niger States.
The State is suitable for Large, medium and small scale enterprises in manufacturing, mining, Agriculture and several others.
The State has an area of 32,500sq kilometres. One of the highly endowed states with land in Nigeria.The Kwara State AGIS and Traditional land owners are ready to release their lands for investment purposes on negotiation terms. BUA is almost completing a multi-million dollar big sugar factory in Lafiagi, the headquarters of Edu local government area of the state.
For other investors,the Nigeria Sugar Company Bacita is offered for sale by AMCON.The first indigenous Sugar Company that has large sugarcane farms and industrial complex for processing granulated sugar, molasses and other bye products. AMCON can be contacted for the address of the receiver. Investors waiting to invest in farming and agro processing industries will find Kwara State Attractive.The Rainfall pattern supports cash crops and other annual crops.
Kwara State has enduring peace and it is called the “State of Harmony”. It has lower crime rate. In Nigeria, Agriculture inclusive of animal husbandry remains one of the areas of investment which the state has competitive advantage considering large expanse of land, water, rainfall etc.Nigeria and International investors should henceforth think of investing in the state of harmony-Kwara State, Nigeria.
The mining Industry can be suitably located in Kwara State. There are many mining industries processing limestone and also Quarry. Investors will not regret their investment.
The State has a booming hospitality industry that supports other economic activities.
The takai dancers (Baruten) from one of its local government whose performance at the Festac 1977 in Lagos was marvelous. A lot of cultural events are held annually or at a selected period for entertainment and historic remembrance. Such events include Gaani Festival in the Okuta, Baruten Local Government, Awon cultural mass marriage in shao, Esie museum housing stone images which were discovered in the 17th century.The images were said to be human beings turned stones.
The Owu falls in Owa Kajola is also a good source of tourism.The state is also bounded in the North with the river Niger with splendid scene at Jebba, Lafiagi, Patigi etc.The Kwara State Government is rebuilding The Regatta village into an holiday resort to revive annual water Regatta festival at Patigi.
A Director at Hanalimo Associates (A Management consultancy outfit) said his agency can arrange private and group tourism for intending tourists to Kwara State at reasonable costs.The hospitality in the state is supportive of different categories and style of nice stay in Kwara State.
ANNUAL DURBAR CELEBRATION IN ILORIN
The annual Ilorin Emirate Durbar Cultural show attracts the largest participants among the cultural activities in the state. Hundreds of horses and riders are actively engaged.The highly decorated horse ride through Ilorin and converge at the Emirs Palace.The Durbar usually involved the Emir, important personalities and invited guests from all parts of Nigeria.Thousands of people ply the route to catch a glimpse of the procession and other sideline activities. Like cultural events of such magnitude, the economic advantages cannot be overemphasized.
ANNUAL GAANI FESTIVAL AT OKUTA, BARUTEN LGA
Annual Gaani Festival is usually held at Okuta, Baruten Local Government Area of the state.It is an highly celebrated festival by the Batonu and Bokobaru Ethnic Group.This is being highly attended by the people of the Baruten and Kaiama Local Government Areas and people from neighbouring States of Niger. Many people from other areas of kwara state usually attend the festival because of its entertainment value. The economic activities are promoted during the festival.
Virtually all areas of Kwara state have one form of festival or the other to commemorate their history, entertain themselves and visitors and promote their economies.
AWON ANNUAL MASS WEDDING FESTIVAL IN SHAO, MORO LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE
Awon annual mass wedding festival is celebrated in Shao town which is very close to Ilorin. It is held annually in the month of October.The occasion is the marriage ceremonies of the marriageable girls in the community. It usually attracts visitors who will want to witness the activities holds up during the period.
The state has a good road network. It is also connected to railways coming from Lagos to Kano and other Northern states. The state has an International airport in Ilorin.
To our readers Nationwide, Kwara State, Nigeria remains a good investment and tourism destination in Nigeria. A trial will convince you.
Alhaji Abdulganiyu Hanafi is the former Registrar, Kwara State College of Education, Oro.