• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Oyo State set to tap into agriculture potential of Ogbomoso — Makinde  

Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, said that the state is set to tap into the immense agricultural potential of Ogbomoso town. He made this statement at the inaugural Ogbomoso Economic and Investment Summit, promising to renew all efforts to intensify the state approach to benefit from the immense potential of the town.

The governor, who was represented at the event by Seyi Adeleye, Special Adviser on Infrastructure, said the noticeable revolutions in agriculture, infrastructure, and industrialization should involve not just the government but also the private sector.

He said this approach was necessary to help improve the livelihoods of citizens, empower the youth, and expand the state’s economy.

Wale Fasanya, the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), who spoke on “Rethinking Drivers of SME Capital Financing for Economic Growth,” talked about the various opportunities for SME financing and capacity development for economic growth.

Read also: Agriculture: American-based company to establish mechanised farm in Ogun

In his goodwill message, Prince Dapo Oyewumi, Founder/Managing Director, Centre for Law and Business/Chairman, J.O. Oyewumi & Co. Nig. Ltd., said that commerce is second nature to the people of Ogbomoso, who are found in all parts of the world.

Oyewumi said the commercial exploits of the people of Ogbomoso in northern Nigeria, “where even my own family has strong business roots in Jos and the West African Coast, is well known, contributing in no small measure to commerce and the economy of those places.” Their presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Europe is also notable.

“It is gratifying that the focus has also shifted home with increased interests and businesses, including large-scale farms and agribusinesses, hospitality, and trading, among others, being established in Ogbomoso and its environs,” Oyewumi said, praising the efforts of the economic summit’s organizers.

Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani (rtd), Chairman of the Governing Council of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, highlighted some security issues detrimental to business development in Ogbomoso. According to him, these include the prevalence of drug abuse among youths, the menace of street urchins, kidnapping for ransom, and political thuggery, among others.

He called for the establishment, within six months of the summit, of a framework for the establishment of a Chamber of Trade and Industry to actualize business developments in Ogbomoso.

He also advocated the need to facilitate the convening of a forum of Ogbomoso socio-cultural groups, the traditional institution, religious groups, politicians, academia, and other relevant stakeholders to strategize on how to address the issues.

Emmanuel Akinwumi, CEO of Financing & Partnership Africa Limited, said in order to mitigate the problem of infrastructural deficit, tame criminality and hopelessness, create jobs and wealth in Ogbomoso land and, by extension, in Oyo State and Nigeria, there was a need to embark on successful industrial clusters rooted in private sector-led and government-enabled projects catalysed through coordination and collaboration, cooperation and partnership, access to funding, and

Earlier in his welcome address, the convener, Benjamin Onigbinde, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Sigvent Property Trust Limited, stressed the need for a quantum leap in the development of the second biggest economy in Oyo State, adding that to achieve sustainable development and drive global and local investment to the city, there is a need for strategic engagement and collaboration among all stakeholders.

According to him, the community is rich in all the significant factors of production, adding that the cashew, cassava, mangoes, and maize found in Ogbomoso are among the best globally.

He stated that there are three basic areas of investment that the summit wants to achieve at the end of the day; the establishment of a special agri-industrial processing zone, attracting investors to establish private universities, and the establishment of a cashew processing plant.

Among those who attended the summit are a foremost entrepreneur and former Executive Member of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Jonathan Onigbinde of the Onigbinde Group of Companies, who called for more investor participation in Ogbomoso economic development.

Another phase to be organised is what the organiser tagged the “Ogbomoso Investment Road Show,” to be held in Abuja and Lagos in 2023.