Created on February 3, 1976, Borno State is home to 35 ethnic groups including the hospitable Kanuri people. It is the second-largest state in Nigeria in terms of landmass and houses more than 20 profitable opportunities.
We’ll tell you, apart from the dangerous activities of an Islamic terrorist group, other challenges of investing in Borno.
Things an investor should know about Borno include:
1) Maiduguri is its capital and the most civilized city which house the once prestigious University of Maiduguri (before Boko Haram attacks)
2) Borno shares boundaries with three African countries: Chad, Niger Republic, and Cameroon.
3) It has 27 local government areas
4) It shares boundaries Adamawa, Gombe, and Yobe States
5) The state uses traditional demarcations: Borno North, Borno South, and Borno Central
- Borno North has 10 LGAs
- Borno South houses 9 LGAs
- Borno Central contains 8 council areas
6) Major ethnic groups are Kanuri, Babur, Marghi, Shuwa, and many others
7) According to the 2006 NPC census, Borno has a population of 5,860,200, unfortunately, more than half of the people have been displaced while thousands of others have either been killed or kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorist group.
Data obtained from the United Nations says close to 30,000 people have been killed by the terror group, more than 2.7 million people have been displaced, including some 210,000 Nigerians, into neighboring countries.
Some of the ventures foreign investors may like to explore in Borno are:
- Dairy production
- Vegetable Farming
- Security firm and consultancy
- Livestock Feed Manufacturing
- Fruit Growing
- Production of fertilizer
- Field Crop Farming
- Oil exploration and investment
- Dairy Farming
- Poultry Farming
- Mining of mineral resources
- Manufacturing Investment
- Cattle ranch:
- Fish Farming
- Bulk Foodstuff Wholesaling
- Juice Production
- Meat Packing
- Spice Production
- Water Distribution
- Real estate
- Agricultural Equipment Rental
We shall take these opportunities one after the other in later part.
Is Borno State A Good Place To Do Business?
There are so many factors that play significant roles in determining whether a state is good for business or not, some of them are discussed below:
- Market factor:
- Geographical factor
- Labour factor
- Government support
- Security factor
In terms of the market with neigbhouring states and countries, the supply of products can cover other markets in the surrounding states and countries.
For instance, it’s closeness to Chad, which has a population of 12.83million people, through Kukawa LGA, access to Niger republic markets through Abadam council area; Cameroon through Gwoza LGA makes Borno an investment location for a foreign investor who plans to extend their market beyond Nigeria’s territories.
The northern part of Nigeria has consistently remained the life wire of agricultural products of Nigeria, Borno is one of them with such a huge landmass
There are millions of youths in the state who do menial jobs and are ready to embrace job opportunities, so there is an availability of labour in the state
Due to the devastating effects of terrorism in the state, the administration of Engineer Babagana Zulum has in place policies to encourage foreign investors. Some of the supports include accelerated processing of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), free land for foreign investors under a win-win agreement for the state and the investors.
In January 2017, Infobase (now InfomediaNG Business Solutions), embarked on research where the head of the team met a senior government official who said:
“The state, particularly Kukawa Local Government, will be excited to give necessary support to any foreign investment”.
The body language of the people of Borno State shows that foreign investment will receive the necessary supports in terms of technical, human resources, and security.
Before the terrorist group Boko Haram sprang up in the Northern part close to a decade ago, Borno State was one of the most peaceful states in the country and northern part.
In terms of security, an investor needs to evaluate the risk of investing in Borno State.
For the past 11 years, Boko Haram terrorists have reigned with impunity, killing, maiming, and displacing millions of business activities. Security is very important.
Of course, no foreign investor will be willing to invest in a war-prone state, but with the current efforts of the state government who himself rose from grass to grace, there could be smiles after the Boko Haram terror in the state.
We’ve also seen an unprecedented number of Boko Haram fighters surrendering to the Nigerian troops in the state. That’s commendable if the peace deal will bring a lasting solution and bring the state back to its glorious “peaceful state”
However, we’re still monitoring the peace deal closely. Most of the terrorists who surrendered in the past went back to their evil deeds.
As such, we can’t guaranty foreign investors to come into the state immediately to invest. At the time of this report, heavy security presence can be seen in farmlands to wade off any form of attacks from the terrorists, this is good on one hand, and shows that the peaceful atmosphere in the state is still fragile.
Unless an investor is ready to limit its investment within Maiduguri metropolis which doesn’t require supply to other towns and villages.
Borno isn’t a safe place for a multi-million naira investment at the moment unless it’s a security outfit.
So, let’s quickly analyse some of the business ventures that can bring you a lot of money if you are ready to take the risk
Borno is home to thousands of cattle, a major raw product for dairy production. Nigeria still spends millions of US dollars for the importation of dairy products yearly. A foreign investor can tap into the available resources in dairy production to meet the local and international demands.
Dairy factory will be a marvelous investment in Borno considering the large herds of cattle that abound in the state and its environs.
The state has a climate that is hot due to sunshine for a greater part of the year, although the southern part is slightly milder. This a business opportunity that is yet to be tapped to power generation.
Borno is a fantastic place for solar power, unfortunately, larger parts of the state depend on the epileptic power from unbundled PHCN.
While the state is dry in most part of the year with rainy season around June to September in the North and May to October in the South, vegetable farming is another agriculture business that has sustained some parts of the state.
Apart from that, almost every part of the North is fantastic in irrigation, this can be explored to be a major supplier of vegetables like the way Turkey supplies vegetables to its neighbours.
Security firm and consultancy
This is the most viable investment in Borno right now due to the security challenges. There are several anti-terrorism security outfits in the U.S, Russia, and U.K that could embark on this.
There are so many other attractive locations in the state which have been reduced to rubble by terrorists which are business opportunities. For instance, Gwoza Hills with a height of about 1300 meters above sea level also houses ‘Mandara Mountains’ is a place to behold before the insurgency.
In the past, this location played host to Mobile Police Force training and other security training, the glory can be brought back through investment.
Some of the attractions locations in Borno include:
- Borno State Museum
- Lake Tilla
- Jarry Falls
- Rabeh’s Fort, Dikwa
- Lake Chad
- Shehu of Borno Palace
- Sanda Kyarimi Park Zoo
- Lake Chad Game Sanctuary
- Lake Alau
- Sambisa Game Reserve, Kawuri
Investment in water distribution
Building a treatment plant on the Lake Alau axis, this lake has been a source of water for plantation for several years as well.
Tricycle manufacturing and assembling plant
The most common means of transportation in Borno State, particularly Maiduguri are tricycles.
Foreign investors can establish a large-scale tricycle manufacturing and assembly plant in the state for people within and other parts of the country.
Borno is one of the tomatoes-producing states in the north. Southwest, and some parts of the South-south rely heavily on the tomatoes from Borno, Northeast Nigeria.
Tomatoes can be gotten at a very cheap price in the state.
The highest percentage of their tomatoes production are transported to other parts as raw product, foreign investors can take a step ahead by having a production plant to make it a finished product.
Nigeria still relies on the importation of tin tomatoes from other countries, that aspect is a strong investment opportunity for foreign investors in Borno State.
Dried Fish Packaging
Just like cassava market can be found in virtually all the states in the southwest, fish markets are not rare to come by in Borno State, particularly in local governments that are surrounded by waters.
Kukawa is one of the council areas where the fish market can be found. That means the fish in that part of the state is under-tapped. Foreign investors can invest in that aspect by packaging fish and exporting to meet local and foreign consumption.
One of such is the biggest fish market in West Africa Baga Fish Market; Hadejia fish market is another one.
Oil Exploration And Investment
In December 16, 2016, it was officially announced that crude oil was discovered in Borno State, making it the first Northern state to join the league of oil-producing states in Nigeria.
Almost five years after the discovery, exploration hasn’t started due to the activities of the dreaded terrorist group.
This is an investment in waiting till terrorists are completely killed, but erasing the ideology from the psyche of repentant terrorists.
With a huge landmass of 70,898 km², Borno is the second largest state in terms of land area, this makes suitable for cattle ranch if insecurity is reduced to a manageable level.
Other Agricultural Business Ideas
Other investment potential is agricultural-related. They include: field crop farming, poultry farming, and vegetable farming like tomatoes, okra, and spinach among others
Mining of Mineral Resources
Borno has a large deposit of manganese, tantalum, copper, tin, nickel, aluminum ore, iron ore, gold, silver, and diamonds are just some mineral resources in the Northern state.
Having highlighted some of the business opportunities in Borno, there are are some challenges, they include:
Poor power supply
Borno State has the resources in place to encourage foreign investment. Most of the Local Governments in the state are willing to give free pieces of land to prospective foreign investors based on you-win-I-win terms.
However, it is strongly advised foreign investors to critically understudy the security situation of all the 27 Local Government to know which is safer for investment.