By Akeem Abas
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Friday said that his administration attracted investment worth $65 million to the state within four years.
He made the disclosure on Friday while unveiling the Transformation Industrial Park Project on the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor unveiled the industrial park and flagged off the Phase 1 of the Polaris Pacesetter Free Trade Zone as part of activities marking his administration’s sixth year anniversary.
NAN reports that the industrial park has 162 plots of land, with the Free Trade Zone located on 4,000 hectares of land.
“From the National Bureau of Statistics figures on Foreign Direct Investment inflow into Nigeria over the period between 2011 and 2015, Oyo State attracted a total of $64.8 million investment.
“This places the state second only to Lagos State in the South West,’’ the governor said.
Ajimobi said his administration also attracted 34 new companies, while two others, Leyland Busan Motors Limited and Dizengoff, were resuscitated by their owners.
According to him, the companies have yielded a turnover of N32 billion and have created over 3,000 jobs.
The governor also said the industrial park had been divided into 162 plots of various sizes to accommodate medium and small scale industries.
“We assure investors that the paper processing for their plots would not exceed 30 days.
“ Let me state here that the first 20 allottees would enjoy 70 percent discount,’’ he said.
He assured the former land owners of the benefit from the investment through profit sharing.
Ajimobi said that the state was uniquely blessed with land mass and resourceful people, noting that 75 percent of the state’s land mass was arable.
“Our state is blessed with arable land and mineral resources. With all the blessings, the state was trapped in violence, decadence and culture of impunity.
“It was also tagged the dirtiest in the country until we came on board.
“ Let me tell you that in the last six years, we have been able to make the state clean, safe and healthy for residents and investors,’’ he said.
Mrs Folake Akinleye, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Promotion and Public Partnership, said the park was established to elevate the state from its civil service status to an industrialised one.
This, he said, was in line with the restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda of the Ajimobi administration.
“With the unveiling of this park today, the state is set for better opportunities for investment, investors and industrialists from all over the world,’’ he said.
Chief Kola Akosile, the Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Oyo/Osun/Ondo/Ekiti branch, commended the governor for his doggedness and commitment to the tenets of Public-Private Partnership.
Akosile, who was represented by his deputy, Vikroam Gursahanei, said industrialisation was critical in driving development.
“Industrialisation provides the brightest hope for sustained growth, employment generation, improved savings and poverty alleviation,’’ he said.
Mr Olaitan Alabi, the Chairman of Oyo State Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, said that the efforts of the state government deserved commendation.