Recent aggressive investment in physical infrastructure plus heightened security measures put in place in OyoState are no doubt responsible for the renewed interest investors have shown in the state.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP BisiIlobanafor, bank robberies, a common occurence pre-2011, has become a thing of the past. Same with frequent violent clashes between transport union factions. All has been put under check, leaving an atmosphere of peace conducive for economic activities to In the pacesetter state, investor confidence is back and strong as the last two years recorded unprecedented increase in new businesses in retail, banking, publishing, hospitality, media services and entertainment put at over Between last year and now, three multi million naira private – owned radio stations and a television station commenced operations in Ibadan. The last time private radio came into the city was 2006 when Splash FM was established. And even with four private broadcast outfits, the city is not done yet as Western Post reliably gathered that more are on the way.
Two new modern shopping malls estimated at N3b, Cocoa Mall and Heritage Mall located in the city’s Central Business District began operations last year too and now hosts major retail outlets and pubs including Mr Price, Cash-n-Carry and the mega consumer products trading company, Shoprite which is currently constructing a grand shopping mall in Ibadan. When completed, the mega mall would be the largest in West Africa.
There are also new hotels which have opened for business, several small scale businesses in the informal sector, bank branches are also springing up by the day apparently in response to the increased investment pouring into the city and businesses whose operational base is the state are equally opening new strategic branches around the metropolis. Many analysts agree the city has witnessed tremendous transformation in the last three years which has caught the attention of investors.
Ayoade Akinpelu, an investment expert, shares this view: “Effort of the government at repositioning the state is gradually yielding positive outcomes. Ibadan has never seen this level investment over a short period of time, the city has become investment – friendly than ever before, it is no doubt a good development”, he said. The government had in 2012 embarked on massive road rehabilitation, expansion of major highways in the metropolis as well as conversion of some city roads to dual carriage ways to enhance the smooth flow of traffic.
Several Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) and bilateral agreements were also signed with the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), Bank of Industry (BOI), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture and UAC Property Development Company to fast track socio-economic development of the state.