*Says state one of safest in Nigeria
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde has told foreign and local investors desirous of investing in Oyo State that the state is one of the safest in Nigeria
Speaking at the weekend in Cairo, Egypt during an interview with CNBC Africa, on the sidelines of the Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF) 2023, the governor said he has been running a responsible and responsive government, which has invested and continues to invest heavily on security.
According to the governor, apart from security, Oyo State has comparative advantages in the areas of its vast landmass, solid road infrastructure network already put in place by his government connecting all zones of the state, solid mineral deposits and tourism.
Governor Makinde who took part in the signing of an agreement with the AFREXIMBank and Access Bank to enable Oyo State and other states in Nigeria have access to a N500 billion facility for infrastructure development said his government, has, since 2019 when he assumed office, embarked on a massive infrastructure development drive that has connected all zones of the state
He stressed further that there are boundless opportunities in the state in the areas of agribusiness, tourism and mining.
“So, in all of these, we are saying, look, investors should come. The major issue that investors may be afraid of, is having a safe and secure environment; I think we have almost passed that hurdle in Oyo State. We are one of the safest states in the country”, he said.
Gov Makinde added, “We have invested massively in Security and in terms of a responsive government, I came from a private sector background and I was able to let the investors know that they are coming to a state where government business is handled with a dispatch.”
He stressed that as part of his government’s infrastructure development plan, the first phase of the 110 kilometres Ibadan Circular Road, which is the 32 kilometres connecting the Eastern part of the state, has been progressing well.
Speaking further, the governor said Oyo State would take advantage of the opportunity by using its part of the loan to continue the 110km Ibadan Circular Road and the extension of the Ibadan Airport runway, which is part of its efforts to have the airport upgraded to an international standard.
“For us in Oyo State, we are quite happy that AFREXIM Bank is having direct engagement with the sub-national and we want to take that advantage. That was the reason I travelled down here to Cairo.
“So far, it has been a rewarding engagement as I pitched Oyo State to them and told them that Oyo State, with over 28,000 square km, is probably bigger than a lot of African countries, twelve of them at least. With also big arable land, agribusiness is a major focus for us.
“We have done quite a bit in the last four years, connecting all the zones we have in the state, and we want to expand our economy now that the solid foundation has been laid for infrastructure and connectivity. Now, we want to look at intra-zonal roads and one of the big projects that have been pitched here is the Circular Road.