Ogun Aims to Become Nigeria’s Fastest Growing Economy

Dapo Abiodun

Ogun State has said its 2021 budget is aimed at sustaining the state’s economic agenda and making it the fastest growing among its peers in the country.

This was the submission of the State’s Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo while giving the breakdown of the 2021 budget, recently.

Okubadejo, who explained that the ambition of the Prince Dapo Abiodun administration was to improve on the real sector and job creation, noted that the budget also targets poverty eradication and encourages investors.

Explaining that part of the vision of the state was a deliberate action to encourage private sector participation, he noted that the Abiodun’s economic agenda would drive investments.

Okubadejo said the overall vision and strategic direction of, “the present administration is to make the economy of the state the biggest in the country in a manner that would ensure real sector growth, create jobs and also significantly eradicate poverty amongst our people.”

Speaking on the agricultural sector, which he described as the major economic driver in the state, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina said the state plans to expand the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) with the introduction of cotton, oil-palm and cocoa in 2021, just as 10,000 hectares of land has been allocated for the use of cotton farmers in the state.

Odedina added that the state government approved new framework for land use in the state, adding that access to land would become a seamless process in 2021.

He also noted that the state government would be stepping up its game in the New Year with its engagement with the World Bank, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the African Development Bank in it’s the bid to make the State the official special agro-processing zone.

“We also want to move into Anchor Borrowers Programme for Cotton, Oil palm and Cocoa in 2021 and government already allocated 10,000 hectares of land to Cotton farmers and we have also started work to link Cocoa, Oil-Palm farmers in 2021.

“We are going to step the game in 2021 with our engagement with the World Bank, IITA and particularly the African Development Bank in the bid to make Ogun State the official special agro-processing zone,” he added.

The commissioner who further disclosed that the state would be concentrating on dam irrigation, said it would also be focusing on Climate Smart Agriculture, which he said would help to create more employment opportunities for the people.

“In the area of Investment in agriculture, the government already approved new framework for land use that will make land access a smooth process in 2021, because we have to expand agriculture, we cannot lock down agriculture, in 2021, we are going to be concentrating into abandoned agriculture activities of dam irrigation and service to take in more people across the state.

“We are also going to be focusing on climate smart agriculture because in other parts of the country they are talking about flood, but in our state, we are only being confronted with drought, that means, we are taking particular attention to irrigation facility in 2021, when this is being done, more people will be employed,” he said.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, on her part disclosed that the vision of the state government which would be focusing on the ‘Ogun Health Improvement Programme”, said that there are three pillars of Hub and Spoke model, standardisation of health facilities, health workers and their equipment and innovative funding, which includes collaboration with the private sector.

Coker who also noted that the ultimate vision of the present administration in the state was to provide an affordable and accessible and quality health care for every citizen of the state, added that the goal of the state government was to ensure the reduction of the maternal and infant mortality by 25% by the year 2023.