Osun State government has stepped up efforts to diversify state’s economy towards private-sector led growth. The diversification also involves attracting local and foreign investors to its economic potentials while streamlining and mainstreaming existing economic activities.
A formal presentation of the blue print is expected to be made by the state governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, tomorrow at the kick-start of the Osun Economic and Investment Summit in Oshogbo, the state capital.
Addressing some journalists in Lagos, Oyetola stated: ‘‘Osun is a place to be for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have large expanse of fertile land for agriculture, our vegetation and climate are amongst the best for agriculture. Then, we have abundant mineral resources. There is gold, granite amongst about 10 mineral resources waiting for investors.
‘‘What we have now are mostly artisanal miners, but we want to fully regulate them and encourage investors, both local and international, to come and invest in the mining of the minerals.
‘‘Again, we have a very secured environment. We place a lot of premium on security.
‘‘Also, we have not less than 18 hours of electricity supply daily. This is because we have the distribution centre in Osun. It is from Osun that every other state enjoys electricity supply from the national grid.
‘‘Then, we have the political will to guarantee your investment. I am from a private sector background. I spent about 30 years of my postgraduate work experience in the private sector, so I know what it takes to ensure that you allow business to thrive. And in any case, it is the private sector that drives the economy. Government should always focus on the enabling environment and policies to ensure that the private sector have the opportunity to drive the economy.
‘‘So, with all these, I believe our state is the best for investment and that was why we decided to go all out to showcase the potential in Osun to the entire world during the Summit.’’ Oyetola said that some incentives have been put in place for the investors.
He stated: ‘‘In the agriculture sector, we have a lot land and we have made them available for investors. That would save them the problem of going to the communities to start to talk about land. So, the government is providing land to the investors. That is part of the incentive.
‘‘We are a state that believes in the rule of law. Once agreements are made, they are binding on the government and government is a continuum, regardless of the tenor.
‘‘An investor is ready to sign a memorandum of understanding on mining with us, and has actually deposited a huge sum of money. The company we are talking about is already listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ‘‘So, people are showing interest in what we have and we are serious about what we are saying and I can assure you that after this summit you will see the benefits.’’
Speaking on the objectives of the investment summit, he said, ‘‘Part of what we are trying to achieve with this summit is to see people that want to invest in industrial parks, where you have opportunity for businesses to be cited with some degree of amenities.
Another opportunity area is the free trade zone that we already have and is already available for investors to come in and start their business, whenever they are ready.
‘‘We are not just looking for people that would just use our base for raw materials, but we are already creating opportunity for value chain, for cassava processing and conversion to ethanol.
‘‘In terms of infrastructure, we have done so much. If you have been to Osun recently, you would have seen a lot of what we have done in that area.
‘‘In addition to that, the federal government is constructing the rail line that would still pass through the state to the North. So, in terms of transportation of goods and services, we can do that by rail.’’