This may be a little overdue to blog about, but it's always better late than never. The Northern Nigeria Economic And Investment Summit took place in Abuja from 6th to 9th October 2008. It was organized by the Conference Of Northern Nigeria Chambers Of Commerce Industries Mines And Agriculture (CONCCIMA). It's a response to the economic backwardness of the Northern Nigerian region as a whole.
My team participated in the event as part of the ICT group. The ICT group is formed by all the ICT companies that participated in the event. We were all lumped together by the organizers of the event. Companies in the ICT group are Viatech, 3D formula, Cerebro Systems, SDDS, Walfam and Frontier Systems.
The conference turned out to be more interesting than I initially expected. I attended most of the plenary sessions. There were really interesting talks by a lot of people (some of which I previously only used to see on TV). People like Aliko Dangote, Dr Mansur Ahmad of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), professor J.D. Amin of Nigerian Universities Commission took part in the plenary sessions.
Sadiq Modibbo of Frontier systems gave a talk on behalf of the ICT group.
Dr Barth Nnaji of Geometric Energy also sent a representative. Geometric Energy is the company that built the Aba independent power plant in Abia state. According to Mr Nnaji they are currently trying to replicate that project in three Northern cities of Kano, Kaduna and Katsina under a project name K3.
The event ended up looking more like an All Nigerian Economic And Investment Summit and less about Northern Nigeria alone. As somebody stated at the event, you can't discuss a section of Nigeria in isolation from the remaining sections.
Based on the large number of southern Nigerian business men and women at the summit it became obvious that unlike our politicians, our entrepreneurs are relatively free of regional and ethnic bigotry.
After all it's the same money that is spent all across the country.