OSOPADEC Chairman, Elder Sam Erejuwa has lauded the Ondo State Government for its commitments to make the State conducive for local and foreign investors as this will propel economic growth, provide jobs, improve the lives of citizens and propel sustainable development across the State.
Erejuwa who declared this at the opening ceremony of ”Develop Ondo 2.0 Investment Summit” held in Akure on Monday expressed optimism that the coastal regions of the State would be amongst the greatest beneficiaries of the government initiatives.
The Investment Summit was organized by the Ondo State Government in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the theme ‘Developing Possibilities’.
The event which is aimed at showcasing the investment potential and opportunities in Ondo State to local and international investors is building upon the success of its first edition; “Develop Ondo 1.0″.
While declaring the Summit opened, the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON, represented by the Acting Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa said the event would attract $2 billion in investments to Ondo State, create 70,000 new jobs, and engage with 100 donor partners and 1,500 investors in the State.
Hon. Aiyedatiwa specifically disclosed that the investment drive of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration will bring abundant opportunities and monumental development to OSOPADEC mandate areas, and the State at large.
He said “The development of industrial parks and special economic zones aims to provide dedicated spaces and incentives for businesses to set up and expand operations.
“One such exciting endeavour is the “Port Ondo” Project, located in Eruna/Ogboti, Ilaje Local Government Area.
“This project will create one of Nigeria’s most modern ports, equipped with the largest solid minerals terminal near an Industrial City.
“The “Port Ondo” has received Federal Executive Council approval, and its development is set to revolutionize trade and industrial growth in our State.
“The Ondo Industrial City, spread across over 2,700 hectares in Eruna/Ogboti, Ilaje Local Government Area, will operate as an industrial city with Free Trade Zone status.
“This city will host industries involved in manufacturing, processing, storage, and more.
“With access to abundant natural gas and the establishment of a 30MW Independent Power Project, this Industrial City aims to serve as a thriving hub for industrial activities”.
Speaking further, the Acting Governor disclosed that there has been a highly encouraging response from potential investors, with growing interest in exploring the investment opportunities that the State offers.
Notably, in the agricultural sector, several investors have shown keen interest in projects such as the “Red Gold Project,” which focuses on promoting the cultivation and processing of oil palm in Ondo State.
Furthermore, Aiyedatiwa said in the energy sphere, Ondo State has made history as the first Nigerian State to develop a comprehensive gas strategy, positioning itself as the Gas Hub of West Africa. This strategy aims to harness the State’s abundant gas and energy potential, attracting significant investments in gas adoption and related industries.
Aiyedatiwa said to create an environment conducive to investment, the State Government has implemented various measures, including simplifying business registration and licensing processes, reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks, and streamlining procedures and that the State’s investment-friendly policies, laws, and regulations provide a protective framework that safeguards investors’ interests while offering a predictable business environment.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Razaq Obe who is also the Chairman, Develop Ondo 2.0 Organizing Committee appreciated the sponsors of the event, stressing that the summit will serve as an eye opener to the various investment opportunities in Ondo State.
On his own part, the Director General, Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit (PPIMU), Engr. Babajide Akeredolu explained that the unit has at various times spearheaded the development of critical policy documents, stressing that the unit has played crucial roles in ensuring the smooth execution of government policies.
“PPIMU spearheaded the development of critical policy documents, including the State Industrial Policy and Investment Guide which laid the groundwork for guiding investment decisions and policy reforms in Ondo State”.
Panelists and representatives of partner agencies unanimously commended the Ondo State Government for the initiative, charging the State Government to implement the recommendations of the summit so as to positively transform the State and make life better for its people.