As Ogun State looks forward to hosting its 2016 Investors’ Forum, the state has identified environment agriculture and transportation as major areas it would be looking at as critical sectors to drive its growth.
Speaking to journalists in Abeokuta on Wednesday during the unveiling of the theme for the forum, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who took time to highlight some of the key achievements of his administration, said the state currently ranked fourth in terms of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). He noted that not less than 90 high profile companies are presently operating in the state.
The governor pointed that despite the challenges facing a lot of states, Ogun has been able to weather the storm so well. He stressed that his state has created an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“Ogun State is currently ranked fourth in terms of IGR in Nigeria. According to Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, Ogun State industrial zone ranked fourth in 2014. New investments into Ogun in 2014 valued at N514.87 billion, which was an increase from 2013 investment of N376.57 billion. While total investment stood at N691.77 billion at the end of 2014,” the governor said.
Speaking further the governor said: “What are those things that must be in place for business to thrive? Of course, infrastructure must be there, security must be there, our environment must be peaceful and friendly and we must be comfortable. And we must also have employable people that will be on ground when needed by investors. We are making sure that we get the right manpower that will do the job, so that when investors come in, they won’t start running around in search of people. It will encourage them to source for all the raw materials locally.”
“So we are happy to report that so many of these companies are now using Ogun State as a hub to feed the other states and even the whole of West African sub-region and indeed the world. So in a nutshell, we are telling our people that we are ready for them and the environment is free for business.
“Also, this time around, we’ve asked ourselves which area are we going to be looking at, and we found out that environment is very key. It affects us, it affects our lives, it affects our living. And because there are different ways of controlling emission, particularly now that there is new innovation, new technology and climate change, we need to be ready for it. And we’ve discovered that there are a lot of things that we can do through environment. We’re desirous of adhering with world best practices.
“Agriculture is key. It will always be there. And it can give a good number of unemployed youths, jobs to enable them to be responsible and create wealth for themselves, if managed well. One major area we are going to be looking at is infrastructure. When we talk about infrastructure, what readily comes to mind is, our road, our power, our rail and even water ways; how much are we living. For us transportation is the key.”