By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
The Managing Director of ECO Bank, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan has pledged his financial institution’s continual support to Ogun State Government’ in all ramifications
While giving this assurance of support, MD ECO Bank also revealed that Ogun State is one of the leading lights in the country where ease of doing business is concerned
He stated this at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s office, Oke-Mosan Abeokuta, when he was received by the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun
According to him, the Private Public Partnership approach of the State Government is gaining momentum especially in the areas of Women Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise Scheme (MSME), in Agriculture and Health.
“I will like to thank members of your cabinet who have been supportive in every way possible, first in an environment to do business, we deal with all the States of the Federation, we are present in every States, I will like to acknowledge that we find Ogun State to be one of the leading lights for ease of doing business and a place to actually invest in our country,” ECO BANK MD said.
Akinwuntan while noting that the financial Institution would support the State government to fund long term projects by attracting Investments, noted that the history and rating of the State places it at a unique position to leverage on the Capital Market.
“I will like to reiterate that we stand ready to support you in attracting investments to fund the long term Infrastructure project that you have rightly embarked on, we understand that such projects will require long term financing, the history and the rating of Ogun State places it at a unique position to leverage on the capital market through various instruments, be it bonds and long term Investment instruments and we stand ready to collaborate and to support you on this journey,” he said.
He further added that his institution would support the State government’s quest to make the State an education hub by investing in areas like Information Technology, Physical Infrastructure and Digital Learning.
“Education is very dear to us, we will like to state publicly that we will like to support you and the government in Investing in education, be it in the area of Information Technology, Physical Infrastructure, Digital Learning, we stand ready to support your Government in this areas,” Akinwuntan noted.
In his remarks, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun while calling on Eco Bank and other financial institutions in the country to join hands with the State government to fix the Lagos/Agbara and Ota/Abeokuta federal roads, said that his administration was on the verge of getting the nod of the federal government to embark on the rehabilitation of the roads using the Private Public Partnership approach.
“Let’s see what you can do for us in terms of Infrastructure, am sure you are aware of the Agbara corridor which is the biggest industrial hub in this country, the road leading from Lagos to Agbara is a nightmare, that road is a Federal road, but, we’ve decided to take on that road as a State.
“We’ve made representation to the federal government so many times in terms of coming to reconstruct this road, that place is so important to us, we’ve decided to take that road on and we are constructing it under a PPP arrangement, perhaps maybe Eco Bank will be interested in this PPP model of ours and how we are funding it, probably in partnership with other banks, the same thing goes for the Ota-Abeokuta road as well which is in such a state of disrepair, it is terrible,” the Governor said.
Abiodun who also noted that his administration was looking at supporting vulnerable groups in the society through the provision of single digit zero interest loans to the vulnerable in the society, called on the financial institution to partner with the State Government in providing loans that would in turn help the beneficiaries improve on their business.
“We are looking to support our vulnerable groups in the society, our women who are basically the strength of the society, they are very hard-working, all they need is little capital, we aim to provide loans for them at very single digit zero interest rate and you found out that they will traditionally pay back, they are religious about paying back, let’s see how we can work with Eco Bank to design a model that will allow us to support them,” he said.