Ekiti governor visits NSE, woo investors

Ekiti Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has assured investors that, with the introduction of relevant policies and legislature, the state is poised to emerge top three in ease of doing business.

During his visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to present “Facts Behind the State Economy” to the capital market community on Friday, Dr Fayemi said the state was  committed to creating a conducive environment for investors and businesses as impact of the private sector in developing the state cannot be overemphasized.

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He stated that the government’s social investment programmes needed to be expanded and made more effective to create jobs for the youth.

He added that the government could not create jobs in massive terms without the collaboration of private sector.

He said: “It is the private sector that can fly that process, but we have the duty to make the climate and condition for job creation available for the private sector to thrive.

“We have also passed the law establishing the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency. Once the agency commences full operations, it will drive our Ease of Doing Business reforms, and provide investors with a one-stop shop to deal with investment related matters.”

He said the state’s focus on agriculture, especially a Special Agric Processing Zone, would not only improve the productivity of farmers, but also provide the infrastructure required for processing activities.

He said: “Already, the market is responding to our approach, and we expect to close a partnership on the currently unutilised Ikun Dairy Farm, with a leading dairy company in Nigeria soon.

“Our belief is that Ekiti is ready for more of such investments, and we are available to answer questions on investment opportunities that exists.”

He added that security in the state had improved, stating that government was collaborating with neighbouring states to ensure the state got rid of criminals and bandits to end the menace of kidnapping.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Oscar Onyema acknowledged Dr Fayemi’s progressive and reform-minded leadership of Ekiti State, evidenced in his visit to the Exchange, as well as in his commitment to grassroots development to positively impact the lives of citizens of the state.

“Your strategies towards revitalising the agricultural, manufacturing, mining, trade and tourism sectors, which together account for 75 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) are also commendable,” Oscar said, while noting that Fayemi had increased the proportion of capital spending in the 2019 budget to 44 per cent from 31 per cent in 2018; and channelled budgetary resources towards pro-growth projects.

“At the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we recognize that to build a sustainable economy for the estimated 3.5 million citizens of Ekiti State, supported by vibrant sectors, both state-owned and private sector enterprises will require access to right-sized capital. We have been longstanding partners with Ekiti State in accessing such capital.”

Oscar recalled that during Fayemi’s previous term in office between 2010 and 2014, The Exchange supported the issuance and listing of the N20 billion Fixed Rate Infrastructure Development Bond, which financed a number of projects including the Ikogosi warm spring redevelopment, the Ekiti Water Works construction, as well as the refinancing of high-interest borrowings by the state.

“In that time frame, the Ekiti economy expanded by over 63 per cent in nominal terms to become a trillion naira economy, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The State also recorded a 15 per cent improvement in terms of the enabling business environment assessments by the World Bank, NSE CEO said..

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