Ekiti secures over $100m for airport, three other projects

•As Fayemi marks one year in office

Ekiti state government has revealed it has secured a partnership with some private investors and development partners that would eventually attract to the state over $100million to finance four projects.

The projects include; Ekiti Knowledge Zone, Special Agriculture Processing Zone, Ado-Akure Road, and Ekiti Airport as well as $5million to revive the moribund Ikun Dairy farm.

The State Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Values Orientation, Chief Muyiwa Olumilua made this known while addressing a press conference to kick start the activities marking the first year anniversary of Governor Kayode Fayemi with the theme, “Walking the talk…Restoring values, Enhancing Impact.”

Part of the activities lined up for the one-year celebration is the foundation laying of the Ekiti Airport, a new Ministry of Justice building and Traditional rulers chamber among others.

These projects, according to him, would ensure that Ekiti becomes the hub of the service and knowledge industry in Nigeria, cement the state’s place as a leading agricultural hub, and also improve access and connectivity for business and recreational travellers.

“Other projects include the World Bank-funded NEWMAP and RAAMP projects which will improve the water supply to Ekiti people, and open up rural access roads to enable the easy evacuation of our farm produce.

“Ekiti State is about to conclude a joint venture partnership with Promasidor Nigeria Limited, to revive the moribund Ikun Dairy Farm. The Shareholder Agreement for the new company to be formed to manage the Dairy farm will be signed this month, with Promisador as the core investor, while the State will retain a minority interest, through its investment company, Fountain Holdings. This will attract a new investment of $5 million into Ikun Dairy Farm, which will be used to buy equipment, provide the appropriate herd of cattle, and develop an out-grower scheme for providing feed for the cattle,” he said.

He affirmed that the government would continue to invest heavily in education and healthcare of the people to ensure a skilled and healthy workforce.

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He explained that human capital forms the basic requirement to attract investments and other rewards to the state adding that the State’s development plan is hinged on the need to lay a solid foundation for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The commissioner confirmed that the government would leverage on the state’s competitive advantages and history by focusing on agriculture and agri-business, knowledge and economy services, tourism and hospitality, and solid minerals.

He said, “Our people still remain our greatest asset, and we will continue to invest heavily in education and healthcare, to ensure that we have a skilled and healthy workforce. Human capital is one of the most important requirements to attract investments, and our goal is to improve both education and healthcare outcomes, by ensuring that our people get the requisite quality contemporary education, which will qualify them to take up the jobs that will be created by new investments in the State.

“Building a diversified and inclusive economy, leveraging our competitive advantages and history by focusing on agriculture and agri-business, knowledge and economy services, tourism and hospitality, and solid minerals while we will not ignore other sectors, these sectors will be the main drivers of growth. Our infrastructure spending will be focused on building the right enablers for the sectors to grow our economy, and be the engine of job creation.”

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