…Inaugurates Civic Centre
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has lauded various economic and investment initiatives of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; which had turned the State into a destination of choice for local and foreign investments.
Prof. Osinbajo said Ekiti has economic potentials and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that is higher than some African countries, describing the State as a land of limitless opportunities for investment in agribusiness, technology and knowledge economy.
The nation’s number two citizen made the remarks in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday while delivering a keynote address at the first Ekiti Economic Development and Investment Summit (otherwise known as Fountain Summit) held as part of activities marking the third anniversary of the Fayemi administration in office.
The Vice President had, a few minutes before the commencement of the summit, inaugurated the Ekiti Civic and Convention Centre, a legacy project of the Fayemi Administration with the Summit making history as the first official event to be held in the imposing edifice located near the gate of the Government House, Ado Ekiti.
He said the Federal Government and most especially President Muhammadu Buhari has a special interest in Ekiti and commended Governor Fayemi for leveraging on investment from the private sector to grow the economy of the State most especially in sectors where the state has a comparative advantage.
The Vice President showered encomium on Governor Fayemi for reviving Ikun Dairy Farm after being abandoned for over 40 years and divesting 40 percent of its shares to attract private investors, the Promasidor Group, in order to keep the business enterprise running and generating more jobs for the locals.
The Summit which had as its theme: Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development: Lessons for Sub-Nationals also featured a panel of discussion on key issues including fiscal federalism, revenue generation, security, infrastructure, governance, attracting investment, among others.
Panelists who featured in the discussion segment moderated by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi include Vice President Osinbajo, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and the host Governor, Dr. Fayemi.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ben Liewellyn-Jones; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr. Emeka Offor and Director-General of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), Mr. Seye Oyeleye.
Vice President Osinbajo who said the policy framework put in place by the Fayemi Administration is already yielding dividends, noted that Ekiti has a GDP that is five times more than that of Sao Tome and Principe, The Gambia and Seychelles while it has the same GDP as Liberia.
According to him, Ekiti under Dr Fayemi’s watch has been placed on a sound economic footing, which he said future administrations must build upon to the benefit of the people of the state “in more entrepreneurship, generation of more revenue, among other indicators of better economic growth.”
Prof. Osinbajo said: “Ekiti has a friendly business environment; it ranks 18th overall out of 36 States and FCT in the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Homegrown Sub-Nation Ease of Doing Business Baseline Survey. The survey was commissioned and serves as a situation report on the current attractiveness of the business environment of States in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“Ekiti was the strongest in the skills, labour and infrastructure and security indicators. Also in the last World Bank Ease of Doing Business Survey, Ekiti excelled in the area of dealing with the construction plan, ranking 4th in the entire federation.
The Vice President said Governor Fayemi’s excellent relationship with donors and international agencies, his experience as a second-term governor and one-time Minister of Mines and Steel and Chair of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, has helped in putting the state at a distinct advantage “and evidently, there is a commitment to private sector economy here.”, he added.
“Government should as much as possible facilitate or at best collaborate with the private sector. An excellent example is what we have in formerly state-owned Ikun Dairy Farm. After 40 years of inactivity, the state government has divested 76 percent of shareholding to a private dairy company, Promasidor, now resulting in the company now producing over 10,000 litres from a herd of 500 cows.”
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