By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Nigerian Vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said it is imperative that Nigeria continue to make right decision in order to attracting long term investment into the country.
Osinbajo made this known in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, while speaking at the Osun Economic and Development Summit, tagged : “Pathway to Economic Growth and Prosperity for the State of Osun”.
The Vice President who declared the summit open further said the country should create enabling business environment to make it an easier place to do business
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Ease of Doing Business “, Dr Jumoke Oluwole charged the Osun State government to swiftly move to maximally explore array of economic potentials in the state, saying the state has better advantage in mining and tourism.
He noted that Osun state is endowed with large spaces for agriculture, cultural and industrial products as well as visionary leaders assuring investors that they will find it worthwhile to do business in the state.
He said, “Aside its fertile land which makes agriculture thrive unusually, the array of its mineral-resource blessednes, Osun is also fortunate to be home to some of the nation’s most highly gifted and accomplished citizens. Undoubtedly, Osun is a profoundly blessed State.”
Osinbajo noted that the objectives of the Summit is in tandem with the Diversification Agenda of the Federal Government, adding that the governor has demonstrated exceptional leadership in building on the achievements of his predecessor and particularly in his aggressive pursuit of economic rejuvenation of the state.
Earlier in his speech, the governor of the state, Mr Gboyega Oyetola disclosed that the state has received a sum of N100 million from Badger Mines, a Canada-based mining company, as sign- on fee for exploration and development of one of the state’s mining titles.
The governor also said that the government had earlier executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the renowned mining company as part of necessary preparation for the commencement of mining operations in the state.
Oyetola, who expressed optimism that the summit would achieve the desired results going by the positive responses obtained so far from key players in the private sector, said the government is fully prepared to give all the support required for investment to thrive, particularly in mining, tourism and culture and agriculture.
He said, “Our mining sector, like agriculture, is an old industry yet to be fully harnessed. The State of Osun has ample reserves of a variety of minerals, notably gold, lead/zinc, quartz, feldspar and several precious metals.
“We occupy a unique place in the mining sector in Nigeria. We are a mining state that hosts solid minerals. We are also a state that has invested in acquiring the licences for solid minerals under our land from the Federal Government.
“No other state in Nigeria can offer the unique combination of both regulatory and commercial fusion. We are a risk-ready state with an appetite for enterprise and reward for winnings.
“The state acquired 17 mining licenses for Gold – 10; Quarry – 4; Lead/Zinc – 2; and Quartz and Feldspar -1, from the Nigeria Mining Corporation, and we are willing to partner with interested local and foreign investors to develop these mineral resources.
“Our policy for the mining sector is implemented and overseen by the Osun Solid Mineral Development Programme. This programme commenced in June 2019, and has already achieved some encouraging milestones in its First Quarterly Report in 5 of the 7 intervention project areas of the programme.
“The intervention areas are Osun/Omoluabi Mining Business Restructuring Scheme (OMBRS) to commercialise the state-owned mining company. Osun Revenue Diversification and Maximisation Scheme (ORDMS) is a scheme to register all miners, mines and mining equipment and report on all mining activities in the State in partnership with private sector technology partners.
“We are happy to report that 9,000 artisanal miners have registered their biometric data on RFID-enabled tags with our technology partners. I am also happy to inform you that Osun recently executed an MOU with the renowned international mining firm – The Badger Mines – for the exploration and development of one of our mining titles with a signature bonus of a Hundred Million Naira (N100m) already paid.”
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare in his remarks as one of the panelists opined that with 67 millions youths in Nigeria, the youths are the most vibrant factor of production.
He however explained that many of the youths could not take advantage of many employment opportunities, especially in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector for what he termed lack of technical skills.
Dare therefore implored every strata of government to urgently and hugely invest in the youths for a prosperous future, adding that ” An investment in Osun Youths and Nigerian youths in general will bring about gains today and not tomorrow”.
The Minister also advocated for mechanised farming to guarantee food security, as well as injecting technology into vocational training to build virile human capital among the youths.
Also speaking, on the occasion on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, implored all indigenes of the state to support the government in its frantic bid to make the state the economic hub of the country.