January 28, 2023

Foreign investors ‘rush’ for abandoned businesses in Jos

Jos Rock hotel, uncompleted for 35years

Plans are underway to revive ailing and abandoned businesses in Central Nigeria’s Plateau State, Officials say.

35year-old 5-star Plateau Rock hotel, township Plateau hotel and Hill Station hotel, all owned by the State will soon be reactivated through public private partnership, Governor of the State, Simon Lalong said, Sunday.

One-time largest market in West Africa – Jos Terminus market and only State manufacturing company – Jos international breweries are also on the list.

“Right now, we are working on the Jos Rock hotel, Plateau hotel and Hill Station hotel. Investors are now rushing for them and even the Jos International Breweries, very soon you will see what will happen there. I just came back from Denmark and some processes have begun,” said the Governor.

Last Thursday, the Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, Jesper Kamp, said his government was interested in receiving the Jos International Breweries (JIB) and Brewery Agro and Research Company (BARC FARMS), both moribund for years.

The Danish Ambassador said when Governor Lalong visited him in Lagos, that he will facilitate talks between Plateau State and Danish investors to deploy their experience in agriculture, Brewery and manufacturing, as well as resources for the reactivation of the businesses.

Danish experts were involved in setting up JIB and BARC Farms which were renowned internationally before they went moribund.

The Jos Main market, otherwise called the terminal market which was razed by fire in 2001, Governor Lalong said will be rebuilt by Federal government.

Jos Main Market, burnt down in 2001

The Governor in 2019 spent N2billion ($ 5,245,901.60: 1USD = 321.25NGN) to demolish the remains of the market for reconstruction. He announced plans to start rebuilding the market through PPP before his re-election in 2019.

However, in a media chat at the new Government House in Jos on Sunday, Lalong said fresh processes had begun for the market’s rebuilding by the Federal Government.

“When I met Mr. President, I made an appeal and he said he is very passionate about the market. He said he was in Jos as GOC before he became Head of State in the 80s and it was the best market in West Africa. He issued directives and a process has begun. Very soon it (the processes) will be completed and reconstruction will start,” said the Governor.

Lalong did not explain the extent of federal involvement in the State business centre. But the five businesses billed for reactivation could slash unemployment in the State by nearly a quarter. Unemployment in the State stood at 26.59% in 2020, representing about 2 million people, up from 1.6m unemployed persons in 2019.