Ogun Assures Investors of Improved Business Environment

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Noimot Salako-Oyedele

Dike Onwuamaeze

The Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, has stated that the cardinal economic vision of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration is to create an enhanced business environment that will make it easier for the private sector to do business and prosper in state.

The purpose is to enable the state to sustain its standing as the industrial hub of Nigeria by sustaining the existing industries and attracting new ones, he said.

Salako-Oyedele, explained that the administration’s commitment to the prosperity of the private sector informed the establishment of the Investment Promotion Council (IPC) that would guide prospective investors to Ogun State and help them to set up companies in the state.

The council, according to her, was also charged with the responsibility of enhancing the ease of doing business in the state.

She made the declaration during her recent visit to the premises of Primera Foods Limited in Agbara.

“The policy of this government is to make sure that we make it easy for private sector to do business in Ogun State. The governor placed a lot of premium with his relationship with the manufacturers in the state. This is why I am visiting tour factory to see what you do and how the government would support you to do better,” she said.

“We also understand the challenges industries are facing like the challenge of poor road networks. The Ota–Agbara Express Road is a federal government road. But the state government is talking with the federal government to allow us to rebuild the road even on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. I know that we have proposal with Primera that has proposed to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on how to rebuild part of the road. The state government will support by pursuing the proposal and ensure that the road is reconstructed as soon as possible.

“We will put in our whole effort in supporting the industries that are coming to Ogun State. The mission and vision of Abiodun’s administration is to ensure that the peoples’ personal prosperity will make appreciable improvement at the end of our tenure in office. This has made the administration to look at the private sector, especially manufacturing industries, as a tool to achieving this.

“Abiodun’s adminidtration is also galvanising the Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state to grow their businesses as a vehicle of creating employment opportunities and reducing inequalities in the state through the newly created Enterprise Development Agency (EDA).”

The functions of the EDA, according to the Consultant on Commerce and Industry to the Ogun State Governor, Sola Arobieke, was to provide business advisory services to MSMEs in the state and facilitate mentorship program for entrepreneurs.
The agency would also organise networking activities, capacity building, carry out periodic research and survey on MSMEs in the state.

In addition, it would facilitate access to finance for enterprises in the state, engage in policy advocacy with relevant institutions on behalf of MSMEs in the state.

“The Ministry of Commerce and Industry collaborated with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SNEDAN) to organise capacity building for MSMEs in Ogun State. The first phase was held in October, we trained 160 participants. The program was aimed at identifying areas of deficiency in entrepreneurial development and filling such gaps. The training topics for the 2-day capacity building for programme are as follows,” Arobieke added.

The state government recently organised MSMEs Business Clinic for more than 5000 enterprises at the three senatorial districts of the state in partnership with regulatory agencies such as NAFDAC and Federal Inland Revenue Service and selected financial institutions.

“The aim of the Business Clinic was to strengthen the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise in the state through easy access to instant business registrations, bank loans at competitive rates, product registration and membership registration,” Arobieke said.

She stated that the present administration in the state has introduced significant reforms and programmes aimed at improving the state’s ranking in the World Bank subnational study on Ease of Doing Business by streamlining the regulatory processes and timing associated with doing business in the state through the establishment of the Business Environment Council.

The state’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry is encouraging existing businesses by engaging them in Bi -annual Meeting with the governor while the ministry holds quarterly stakeholders engagement meetings with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Association of Business Owners in Nigeria (ASBON), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialist (NASSI) etc.

These consultations, according to Arobeike, were meant “to resolve constraints affecting the smooth operations of the Industries resident in the State and ensure a two way feedback mechanism.”