By: Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Governor Dapo Abiodun has said that Ogun State remains the first choice for investors in the country, even as he promised that his administration is consciously working to retain that status.
According to him, the state with its rich human and natural endowment cannot be compared with any other state in terms of access to land, seaport and availability of arable land.
Governor Abiodun stated this at the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, on Tuesday in Abeokuta, with the theme: “The Manufacturing Sector: an Integral Part of Making Ogun State the Industrial Hub of Nigeria.”
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako, urged foreign investors to take advantage of the one stop arrangement created by the recently passed Ogun State Investment Promotion Law.
He said that the theme of the AGM was apt as his administration is working with the private sector in all areas of development, such as employment generation, wealth creation, food security and poverty alleviation.
“Our State remains the best place for investors to open business. Besides our natural geographical location as Gateway State to Nigeria, we share borders with four other States and we share international borders with Benin Republic, which is a window to the West African sub-region,” the governor said.
Prince Abiodun said that although Ogun State is benefitting from some of the natural factors, including its proximity to Lagos, which ranks as the fifth largest economy in Africa, his government is also making the environment conducive for businesses to operate.
He said: “Our administration is providing focused and qualitative governance and creating the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which we consider fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun.
“So, we are very investor friendly. We are putting reforms in place to ensure that we are even more investor friendly. We are trying to ensure that we become number one in the ease of doing business in this country and it is incontrovertible that we house the largest number of industries in the country.
“Our administration is committed to making Ogun State a truly investors’ first choice destination not only in Nigeria, but in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
“As Ogun State continued to experience influx of companies, we have deliberately considered the interest of our investors and make it an integral part of our master-plan. We have put in place measures as the foundation to drive key policies in our Public-Private Sector Partnership strategy, and we are already recording positive results.
“We are consciously improving the State’s ranking on the local and global ease of doing business index so as to promote and encourage local and foreign direct investment in the State.”
He added that his administration has also put in place mechanism for a transparent and accountable revenue collection system to halt multiple taxation, whilst increasing capital expenditure on infrastructural development, including roads, energy and information technology.
“Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency will be a one-stop-shop which will help investors to settle down easily without having to go through multiple windows,” he added.
The governor also used the occasion to inform investors that government was working to ensure that there is improvement in public infrastructures across the state.
He added that the present government was also committed to ensuring that the welfare of workers is attended to, while also ensuring that the security of lives and property was improved upon.
Governor Abiodun promised to create industrial parks to be strategically located in different parts of the state that will provide 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply.
This, he said, would be of immense help to cottage industries in local communities.