Kwara State also known as ‘the state of harmony’ was created on 27th May 1967. At its creation, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to “Kwara”, a local name for the River Niger. The capital of the State is Ilorin, which lies 306km northeast of Lagos and 500km southwest of Abuja.
Even though Kwara State has reduced in size as a result of further state creation exercises in Nigeria, it still boasts of a landmass of 36,825 square kilometers and a population of a little over 2,591,555 million people.
Due to the climate and topography, the state is well suited for the cultivation of a wide variety of food crops like yams, cassava, maize, beans, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, etc. In Kaiama and Baruteen Local Government Areas in particular, the climate and vegetation are well suited for the rearing of livestock. The mainstay of the economy is agriculture as nature has endowed the state with adequate vast and rich agricultural land for both road and exportable cash crops.
Geographically, Kwara State is bounded in the North by Niger State, in the South by Osun and Ondo States, in the East by Kogi State and in the West by Oyo State. It has an International Boundary with Benin Republic in Baruteen Local Government Area along the Northwestern part of the State. Despite its strategic location as the gateway between the southern and northern parts of the country and the presence of good transportation systems, there are few industries in Kwara State.
Some investors and manufacturers such as industries in the state include Dangote Flour Mill, Lubcon Lubricant Company, Kam Industries Nigeria Ltd, Tuyil Pharmacy Nig Ltd, Padson Industries NiG Ltd, Kwara Breweries, Ijagbo Global Soap and Detergent Industry, United Match Company, Tate and Lyle Company, Resinoplast Plastic Industry, and others like Kwara animal Feed Mall, Ilorin and the Agricultural Products Company coming on board; this is a small drop in the investment and development opportunities the state can provide. According to statics, the state had a GDP of $3.84 billion in 2007 and this increased by 3% in 2 years, there is still a lot that can be done to generate more GDP.
According to statistics, migration from rural to urban increased with 4.8% in 2012 which has created a need for more residential properties in areas like llorin, Offa, Ornu Aran and Oro which are known as truly Urban areas. Other areas such as Jebba, Erin-ile, Oke Ero, Ekiti Local government are opening up due to movement of people to areas closer to the various industries sited in and near the areas.
Building of resort and relaxation facilities are avenue to explore as the state is known for its traditional festivals and tourist attractions. The Owu-Fall, Extension of Kanji Lake National Park and the Ikan Festival are among the top tourist points in the state.
With the extension of a number of incentives to serious investors by the state government such as assistance with obtaining financing and aggressive infrastructure development and introducing easier means of obtaining the certificate of occupancy the state is now fertile for new investments in real estate areas such as manufacturing, property, tourism, infrastructure development, tourism, etc.
Nigeria as a nation is waking up to the sound of development. With the ‘urban and developed’ areas facing over population, why shouldn’t Kwara formally termed a ‘rural city’ become the next midi city in terms of investment.