Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Tuesday reassured investors in the state of a business-friendly environment and continuous government support as part of efforts to make the state an investment destination of choice.
Abiodun gave the assurance in Abeokuta at a forum with chief executives of firms in Ogun.
The governor noted that his administration had introduced some reforms that would help reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks and improve ease of doing business.
He explained that his administration had established the State Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) to strengthen Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and boost their capacities.
Abiodun also recalled that the government had recently set up the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency to provide a one-stop shop and eliminate unnecessary delays in the processing of documents.
He further stated that the government had created a Public Private Office to ensure the state operated a transparent and accessible business template.
Decrying the poor condition of roads in parts of the state, Abiodun gave an assurance that the state Public Works Agency had been set up to fix road networks in both the cities and rural areas across the state.
“We have identified other roads like the Agbara-Atan-Ota, Ewekoro-Ifo, Sagamu Interchange and the Ilaro-Ibese roads which are in bad shape and working to put them in good condition,” he said.
The governor, who called on investors to consider indigenes of the state for permanent employment or internship, said a bill on local content had been sent to the House of Assembly to give it a legal backing.
Abiodun specifically urged investors to partner the government in its drive to also make the state the food basket of the nation.
According to him, Ogun is well endowed with vast arable land as well competent youths, adding that these two factors are key in making their investments in the agrarian sector profitable.
Some of the businessmen at the forum urged the governor to ‘ease the pain of multiple taxation’ on their investments at various levels of government
They argued that apart from the permits issued by the state, other local government authorities place levies on companies thereby affecting the cost of production.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Coleman Cable, Mr Michael Onafowokan, stressed the need for the state government to develop and provide a robust human capital that would be employable and easy to access through a portal dedicated to the investors.
In his remarks, Mr Jacob Makanjuola, a representative of the West African Portland Cement Company, lauded the governor for organising the event.
He, however, called for a joint working committee that would comprise representatives of the state government and the private sector for a seamless working relationship.