The Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has reiterated the readiness of his administration to make Oyo State an investment-friendly destination in order for investments to thrive.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as having said this while speaking with investors and other stakeholders at the Oyo-Ile Investors’ Forum programme held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde noted that the state was looking forward to establishing a Lagos-Ibadan economic hub, saying: "When we met in May at the Investors’ Forum, I actually thought a lot of you came in here to while away time. I was waiting to see what will come next after the forum but it’s good to know that before our 100 days in office, you were able to bring this report about the activities of Oyo Ile Forum. Therefore, I want to say thank you for those efforts."
The Governor hinted that his administration would do everything possible to woo investors that will bring their resources to expand the economy of the State, saying: "Where we are right now as a state is, we get slightly above N5 billion as federal allocation monthly but we pay workers’ salaries that is way above N5 billion. So, you will see that we don’t even cut any slack for developmental projects.
“We have a state that is so blessed in human and material resources. We have a state that, in landmass, is as big as Belgium. We have a state with arable lands. From the Northern part of the state, we have derived Savannah, all the way to the south here with rain forest. It means every each of land can actually be cultivated. And we also have solid mineral deposits here,” he added.
Governor Makinde stated that Oyo state will use all the resources in its disposal to encourage investors so as to contribute to the expansion of the economy of the State.
He noted that Oyo State used to be the capital of the Western Region and has a fairly decent infrastructure compared to other states in the federation, noting that “we also have our nearness to Lagos State, which is just 120kilometres away. It’s the commercial capital of Nigeria.
“The vibrant press in Nigeria belongs to Lagos/Ibadan axis. It’s a kind of integrated effort. You have Ibadan, a city that is sleepy and Lagos that does not go to sleep.”
The Governor said that his administration is working assiduously to turn the State to an economic hub, stating that “economically, we want to have Lagos/Ibadan economic hub. I believe we are well on our way.”
He said there could not be any meaningful development in any state where there is no security of lives and properties.
“Just a few minutes from now, we are hosting a security summit where the Inspector-General of Police and my colleagues from South-West will be there,” Governor Makinde stated, promising to make the environment of the State habitable for all investors, as he maintained that efforts were on to launch a new security architecture in the state in a few days.
“We want to make this environment conducive such that you will be comfortable bringing your money in, investing in this place and we can assure you that this economy will go rapidly.
“We are looking into security seriously as efforts are on. Before our 100 days in office, new security architecture will be launched in the state,” Governor Makinde stated.
“I believe we are open for investment and at the level of government, we brought out an advert about a week ago, highlighting some of the opportunities that are already available on ground to go.
“We have the cashew processing plant but we think if we have a Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal on it, we can make it work, because all the inefficiencies that are inherent in government running businesses will be removed.
“I am here this morning at a short notice and had to wake up early to come before you so that we can dialogue. That is the level of attention you should expect from the government of Oyo State.
“We will do everything possible to make sure you are comfortable and at the end of our mandate which is remaining three years and nine months, we would have taken off some of the projects which you are thinking about. I can no longer wait because we are running against time,” Governor Makinde said.