23, 2021 / 6.00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV/ Header Image Credit: WebTV
The Ondo State government will continue to partner with the private sector to lead the "Sunshine State" to the path of full industrialization and economic transformation. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said this at the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) "Meet the Governor Forum," which featured Ondo State.
According to Akeredolu, Ondo state is the 13th largest economy in Nigeria, dominated by Oil and Gas & Agric which account for over 80% of its GDP.
He added that the state was home to the longest coastline in Nigeria, which the government is leveraging to establish a "Deep Sea Port-Port of Ondo." He also informed investors and stakeholders that Ondo had the largest Bitumen deposit in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Governor stated that through the public-private partnership model, Ondo seeks to produce bitumen locally to boost industrialization and create more value for its economy.
Akeredolu said to facilitate socio-economic activities in the state, the government fully supports the Ore Industrial Park, which will serve as one of the leading hubs in the nation.
In the Agro-sector, the Governor mentioned the "Red Gold Initiative," which aimed at transforming the Oil palm sector, with 6,000 hectares of land that has already been dedicated to the new plan and stated that Ondo is the largest producer/supplier of tomatoes to Lagos state.
He listed the following as some of the industries, initiatives and projects that the government is giving top priority;
In terms of aviation, he said Akure Aiport is the fastest growing airport in the South West after Lagos. He said the Ondo State Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA) was created as the one-stop hub for facilitating investment deals and trade activities.
In his remarks, the CEO, ONDIPA, Mr. Boye Oyewumi, assured the members of the NBCC and potential investors that Ondo state is open for business and an integrated tourism network that continues to attract visitors from across the globe.
He said ONDIPA would be proactive in investment promotion, showcasing the opportunities for investors to tap.
In her opening remarks, the President of the NBCC, Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi, lauded Governor Akeredolu on his strides in Ondo state and described the forum as an opportunity to identify areas for investments public-private partnership in the sub-national.
The NBCC "Meet the Governor Forum" jas gained traction as the Chamber has played host to Governors Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos and Mr. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state. The forum featured a Q & A session with the Governor moderated by Anne Rinu, Advocacy Committee, NBCC.
Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, the CEO of Sterling Bank and sponsors of the forum, tasked investors with developing robust funding strategies and plans that states like Ondo could adopt to increase revenue.
He said Sterling Bank is committed to financing the development of Nigeria's Agro sector, as it prides itself as the bank with the largest risk asset portfolio in Agribusiness.
NBCC is Nigeria's foremost bi-lateral trade chamber committed to promoting trade and investments between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.