Industrial Zones that are evolving in the North-East Geopolitical Zone (2)

Just like in Adamawa state and others in the North-East of the country, running a cattle and poultry and other kinds of animal farm is lucrative. One of the present ways used by successful poultry farmers is to properly take care of their birds, and know about their peculiar diseases and the treatment to apply. The market is huge due, as the populace consume hundreds of chickens every day.

In addition to the investment prospects in Agribusiness, Light Manufacturing, Healthcare, Tourism, Energy, and Mining, Taraba State is blessed with abundance of water bodies. In that wise, fishing business thrives. Many of the people are fishermen, taking advantage of the rivers that are within and around their surroundings while many are comfortable with fishing on small-scale level. It is therefore advisable to run a commercial fishing enterprise in this territory. Rice is also popular in both the upland and riverine parts of Taraba State; hence a smart investor can start a rice production business in these areas..

One other cool business in Taraba state is transportation business that pertains to taking travelers within and outside the state. Jalingo and Takum, and other areas on the border with Cameroon are lucrative commercial transportation hubs. Also, there are many people using mats in Taraba State (and even beyond the State) for different reasons – particularly for recreation and praying. Hence, it is lucrative to invest in mat making cottage enterprise within the state.

In recent times, the security situation in the area extending northwards to neighbouring Adamawa, further to Yobe and Borno states has not been good enough for business. Like the other parts of the North-east, Taraba state has experienced attacks on border towns and villages with Cameroon in the past. Gunmen have used some of the hills and mountains as hidden places to carry out their nefarious activities in the recent past. Also, the state has also experienced communal clashes. So, anyone planning to set up business in Taraba should avoid areas that are experiencing such violent attacks. It is indeed high time the Federal, State and Local governments doubled their joint efforts to flush out terrorists and notorious elements that pose threats to security in the territory.

A foreign investor willing to fly into the state by air could use the Danbaba Danfulani Suntai Airport located in Taraba’s state capital Jalingo, which is relatively protected from possible attacks by bandits. Businesses in and around the city centre are more protected from danger than those located in the rural districts; with the exception of those where government presence is visibly registered such as the Kankara village that serves as a hydroelectric power centre.

The Mambilla hydropower project is a 3.05GW hydroelectric facility being developed on the Dongo River near Baruf, in Kakara Village of Taraba State, Nigeria. The project is Nigeria’s biggest power plant, producing approximately 4.7 billion kWh of electricity a year; being undertaken by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Power, by means of Chinese investments. It was fully commissioned in 2017, and expected to commence operation in 2030. The hydroelectric facility will comprise four dams and two underground powerhouses having 12 turbine generator units in total. The four dams to be constructed on the Dongo River for the Mambilla hydropower project include Nya (formerly known as Gembu), Sumsum, Nghu and Api Weir dams. The power generated by the Mambilla hydroelectric facility will be transmitted to the national grid by four 500kV DC transmission lines connecting Makrudi, and one 330kV DC transmission line connecting Jalingo.

The Lagdo dam is a reservoir in the neighbouring vicinity is located in Northern Cameroon – 50 km south of the city of Garoua, on the Benue River. The dam was built in the nineteen seventies and eighties to supply electricity to the northern part of Cameroon and allow the irrigation of 15,000 hectares of farmlands downstream. Originally, it was projected that the dam would have a downstream effect on Nigeria. Thus, both countries signed an agreement, in 1977, for Nigeria to build a counter dam called the Dasin Hausa Dam in modern-day Adamawa State, which would have to receive water whenever the Lagdo dam was opened. The Dasin Hausa dam was supposed to be two and a half times bigger than the Cameroonian dam, and it was projected to supply at least 300 MW of hydropower to the national grid, and to irrigate about 150,000 hectares of farmland in Adamawa, Benue, and Taraba states. Following the agreement, Nigeria began construction of the Dasin Hausa Dam. However, the construction stopped abruptly in 1983, following a military coup d’etat in Nigeria.

Presently, the Lagdo Dam is terribly contributing to the misery index of the country in terms of emergency floods that are caused when the dam begins to overfill and overflow its fringes during the heavy rains. Several people have been sporadically rendered homeless over the past three decades. The Federal government must do something to put the life and investment-threatening situations under effective control. Conjointly for reasons of boosting agriculture, industry and power; as well as for the greater reason of averting floods, there is indeed an urgent need on the part of government to revisit and revitalize the Dasin Hausa Dam project.

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