Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Osogbo, the Osun State capital, was agog recently when hundreds of technocrats from different walks of life poured into the town to set the state on the path of economic development and prosperity.
It was a gathering of a consortium of professionals cutting across the multinationals and industries, including banking, tourism, health, information and communication technology, entertainment, education and arts.
It was the Osun Economic and Investment Summit. The three-day event also had in attendance Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s cabinet including commissioners, special assistants and other top government officials. Development partners and investors also attended.
The governor told the gathering that the summit was packaged with a view to deepening existing collaboration, forging new alliances and unlocking possibilities “that would enhance the quality of life of our people and overall development in the state.” He said the state was open to investors, assuring that Osun remained an investment destination for its educated and enterprising population with more reliable power supply than any other part of Nigeria, proximity to major markets, cultural attractions and business-friendly government.
Discussants identified the state as an investment destination in Nigeria. They also adjudged it as one of the few states with the right potentialities across different sectors to accelerate industrial, commercial and infrastructural developments in the country. They called on investors to tap from the abundant resources that Osun is blessed with.
To key into the socioeconomic prospects of the summit, a Canada-based mining company paid N100 million sign-on fee for exploration and development of one of the state’s mining sites. Oyetola said Osun had ample reserves of a variety of minerals, notably gold, lead/zinc, quartz, feldspar and precious metals to explore for the desired advantage.
He assured prospective investors that the state would honour all the agreements made for partnerships. He pledged the administration’s commitment to providing an enabling environment for the investors and their businesses to grow and thrive:
“We have also worked very hard to institute appropriate mechanisms that would aid your ease of doing business. We are strongly committed to doing even more to make your investment efforts a most pleasurable experience.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Trade and Investment, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, said that the objectives of the summit were in tandem with the Diversification Agenda of the Federal Government to drive a robust economy.
UNICEF Field Officer, Mr Tushar Rene, said: “As we pledge our continued support for the state, we want to urge the government to consolidate on the gains from the various programmes and scale of initiatives.”
Before the summit was rounded off, the state had begun to harvest the dividends with about 22 investors indicating interests in investing in the state.
They indicated readiness to explore the potential of the state in the areas of agriculture, mining, infrastructure, health, education as well as Information and Communication Technology.
To engender the prospects, Oyetola signed an executive order establishing Osun Investment and Promotion Agency to demonstrate the state’s commitment to socio-economic development.
He said the state would continue to strengthen all existing frameworks to protect businesses as well as honouring all commitments: “Rest assured that your businesses are safe in Osun.” the governor.