By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to continue to support every State of the federation to achieve its full potential saying that the present administration had so far spent 1.91 trillion naira as intervention fund to support the economy of the 36 States of the federation.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this while declaring open a two day Ogun State Investors’ forum held yesterday at June 12 Cultural center, Abeokuta.
The Vice President commended the governor of the State, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun for sharing in the vision of the federal government with what he termed as the governor’s ambitious investment in massive infrastructural development and agriculture saying that the State which was 35 on the index of ease of doing business in the country in 2011 is now on 5th position.
He added that as part of the continued effort of the federal government investment in infrastructure with a view to turning around the economy, contractors for Lagos/Ibadan expressway had been mobilised back to site while an inland terminal port that would help to decongest Apapa port in Lagos would soon berth at Ilugun, via Abeokuta as part of the Lagos/Kano rail project.
Admonishing Gov Amosun not to rest on his oars, Prof Osinbajo urged him to further harness the economic opportunities between the State and Lagos as well as neighbouring African countries all in a bid to consolidate on the gains already in its kitty while also accelerating further growth of the State.
Welcoming people to the occasion, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun disclosed that eight new private power plants with a total strength of 314 megawatts across different parts of the State would begin operations before the year runs out.
Governor Amosun said that these alternatives sources of power supply in addition to what is available from the national grid would help to boost power supply in the State and most especially create enabling environment for the influx of investors and industries to the State.
He added that as a deliberate policy plan of his administration to provide enabling environment for business to thrive, his government had invested in security, constructed 357.11 Klm of roads, rehabilitated 3,125km of roads, completed 15 fly over bridges among others.
The Governor revealed that in the last seven years of his government, 148 new industries with a minimum investment of 200 million dollars each and in excess of 2 billion dollars in some instances had started operations in the State saying that the the State is now the world preferred investment destination.
Speaking at the event, Minister for finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun emphasized that spending on infrastructure such as road, power and housing is very critical to sustaining economic growth noting that the federal government had so far in the last three years spent a total sum of 405 billion naira on infrastructure.
Mrs Adeosun warned that much as the country is gradually recovering from recession with a very promising future, the rise in oil price at the international market is one distraction government must be wary of and should therefore not abandon the development of its oil sector which helped to bring the country out of recession.
The Minister for Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh in his remarks at the event maintained that the federal government diversification plan especially in agriculture was now yielding results as the country’s export last year surpass her import.
As a way to further harness and maximize the economic opportunities in agriculture, the Minister called on the governors to support autonomy of local government as it would enable the local government to have financial resources to develop rural areas and open up the rural roads for farmers to bring their produce to the market.